Belfast Telegraph

Man and woman shot dead in flat

Police probe gangland criminal link to double murder

Police are investigating a double murder after a man and a woman were shot dead in Craigavon last night.

The victims were discovered at an end flat in the Legahory Court just after 6pm. They were named locally as Hugh McGeough and his partner Jacqueline McCartney.

It is understood that the pair both sustained fatal gunshot wounds to the head.

It is believed their bodies were discovered by their son.

Police sources last night played down fears of a dissident republican link to the murder of the |couple.

Initial theories suggested gangland criminals may be to blame for the killings. But officers said their inquiries were at an early stage. McGeough had been charged over the killing of Peter McNally in the Westacres estate in Craigavon in October 2001.

McGeough and another man from Legahory Court later admitted wounding the teenager, who was shot dead by two masked gunmen as he slept.

And in November 2007 a Craigavon drug dealer with links to loyalist paramilitaries was accused of threatening to kill McGeough and a number of McGeough's associates in Legahory in a row over weapons.

The man was later jailed for assaulting an associate of McGeough and possessing a baton.

There was a significant police presence in the area last night, with one report suggesting a number of young men were “patrolling” around the police cordon.

Detectives from the PSNI Serious Crime Branch are investigating the deaths.

Independent Craigavon councillor Kieran Corr said there has been a history of drug problems in the area and work had been ongoing to have all derelict houses on the rundown estate knocked down.

“I have visited the scene a number of times and it is closed for forensic examination, as the police work to find out what has happened.

“I condemn any use of violence and my thoughts are with family and friends.

“This is not what we want in Craigavon. There is so much good going on. We’re moving forward.”

SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly said: “Shock is reverberating around the community.

“I would like to extend my condolences to the families concerned.

“I hope the police now conduct a speedy and thorough investigation to establish exactly what has happened.”

The DUP mayor of Craigavon,

Stephen Moutray, said: “This is a tragedy for the families of both these people.

“My thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time.”

Sinn Fein MLA John O’Dowd said the community was stunned by news of the shooting.

“I’m deeply shocked to learn of these two deaths. I share community concern that a double killing has happened in their midst,” he said.

SDLP councillor Michael McGoldrick expressed his shock at the double murder.

“News that the police are treating the deaths as murder will compound the sense of shock and disbelief felt by residents in the area,” he said.

The police are appealing for anyone who noticed unusual or suspicious activity in the area to contact them with the information.

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