Belfast Telegraph

Shot couple 'knew their killer'

A crime boss and his wife who were shot dead in Northern Ireland were murdered by somebody they knew, police have revealed.

Hugh McGeough, 56, a major drugs dealer, and his partner Jackie McCartney, 44, could have been dead for up to seven hours before their bodies were discovered by her son Martin at their home in Craigavon, Co Armagh.

They had been shot at least once in a downstairs room of the house which was fitted with bullet proof windows and doors.

Detectives said they have not established a motive for the shooting, but Mr McGeough, who was once jailed for nine years for wounding a teenager, had made a number of enemies in the criminal underworld because of his drugs links and record of violence.

Police heightened security measures in the area because of fears there could be retaliatory attacks.

Chief Inspector Richard Harkness, the detective leading the investigation, said: "Someone's past is no justification for this kind of execution."

Police said a man called at their home at 9pm on Sunday night - a second man is thought to have waited in a car outside - and even though their bodies were not discovered until 6pm on Monday night, it is believed the couple could have been killed at 11am.

Detectives checked telephone records and Mr McGeough did not answer any calls after that time. Ms McCartney's son became concerned when his mother also failed to answer her phone.

Police also believe no shots were heard because of the reinforced glass and doors at the detached house at Legahory Court, Craigavon. There was no evidence of a struggle, and it seems the gunman was allowed into the house by the unsuspecting couple before he opened fire.

Chief Insp Harkness said: "I believe they knew the person, or persons who murdered them. That is based on my crime scene assessment."

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