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Gerard 'Jock' Davison's funeral set to clash with UVF parade

By Claire McNeilly

Published 09/05/2015

Gerard ‘Jock’ Davison was gunned down in the Markets on Tuesday
Gerard ‘Jock’ Davison was gunned down in the Markets on Tuesday

A heavy police presence is expected today at the funeral of Gerard 'Jock' Davison, which clashes with a UVF memorial parade set to attract 15,000 loyalists.

The 47-year-old former senior IRA figure was shot dead on Tuesday morning as he walked to work in the Markets area of south Belfast.

Three men, aged 27, 38 and 41, were arrested and questioned over the murder.

All three were subsequently released unconditionally.

Davison, an atheist, will go straight to Milltown cemetery at 11am today from his partner's house in Friendly Street in the Markets without a Requiem Mass service.

The funeral clashes with a UVF memorial parade that passes close to the Markets and is expected to be attended by 15,000 loyalists and 76 bands.

The parade will travel from north Belfast to east Belfast, through the city centre and close to the Markets.

Davison, a father-of-three, was shot several times in the head and chest by a lone gunman as he walked to work around 9am on Tuesday in Welsh Street.

The killer is thought to have had local knowledge and escaped on foot.

It's understood no getaway car was used.

The murder weapon is thought to have been hidden within the Markets area, security sources have said.

It is understood Davison had been warned by police that he was under threat.

Police have not linked dissident republicans to the attack and do not believe it was a sectarian killing.

However, they are investigating a link to criminal elements who may have had a grudge against him.

During his time as the most senior IRA man in Belfast, the organisation was responsible for a number of murders of people deemed to be high-profile criminals using the cover name Direct Action Against Drugs.

Davison was questioned by police about the murder of Robert McCartney in 2005 but was later released without charge.

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