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Son arrested over murder of pensioner dad after body found in boot of car in Lisburn

Post-mortem to be carried out on Wednesday

By Cate McCurry

Published 27/09/2016

Police and forensic officers at the scene of an incident in the Limehurst Way area of Lisburn on September 25th 2016 , Northern Ireland (Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Police and forensic officers at the scene of an incident in the Limehurst Way area of Lisburn on September 25th 2016 , Northern Ireland (Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Police and forensic officers at the scene of an incident in the Limehurst Way area of Lisburn on September 25th 2016 , Northern Ireland (Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Police and forensic officers at the scene of an incident in the Limehurst Way area of Lisburn on September 25th 2016 , Northern Ireland (Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Police and forensic officers at the scene of an incident in the Limehurst Way area of Lisburn on September 25th 2016 , Northern Ireland (Photo by Kevin Scott / Presseye)
Police and forensic officers at the scene after a body was found in the Limehurst Way area of Lisburn yesterday
Police and forensic officers at the scene after a body was found in the Limehurst Way area of Lisburn yesterday
Police and forensic officers at the scene after a body was found in the Limehurst Way area of Lisburn yesterday

Police are questioning the son of a pensioner whose body was found in the boot of a car yesterday.

Father-of-four Gerard Mulligan was found dead outside his home in Lisburn where he lived alone.

Sources at the scene suggested he had been shot dead, but this has not yet been confirmed by the PSNI.

Police have launched a murder inquiry and arrested a 44-year-old man, understood to be Mr Mulligan's son, also called Gerard. The younger man was also injured in the incident.

A post-mortem examination is to be carried out on Wednesday.

Police said the 44-year-old man arrested is being treated in hospital.

The tragic event unfolded in Limehurst Way, a quiet, residential part of the town at around 4.30pm yesterday when Mr Mulligan Sr was fatally wounded.

Neighbours described the victim, who is believed to be in his late 60s, as a "quiet but friendly man" who dealt in car sales.

The area was sealed off as forensic officers and police officers investigated the scene.

Former Lagan Valley MLA Jonathan Craig said it has left the community in deep shock.

"It looks like there has been an unfortunate domestic incident which has had absolutely deadly consequences, where there's at least one person unfortunately dead and the possibility of another," he said.

"Everyone is shocked at what has happened here and cannot understand what is going on.

"But we appeal for anyone with any information about what has happened here to pass it on to the PSNI."

Ulster Unionist MLA Jenny Palmer said she spoke with the victim's two daughters and other son shortly after the murder.

"At that point they didn't know if it was their dad. They had their suspicions it was him but they weren't officially told until much later," she said.

"It's very sad. The daughter said she was worried about how her mother would take the news.

"Gerard is my brother's next door neighbour and he has been living there for many years.

"It was such a shock to hear there had been a loss of life."

SDLP councillor Pat Catney said: "The community is in complete shock and we are numbed to hear this awful news.

"I live across the road from the incident, so it has come as a complete shock to me.

"This is a residential area which is very quiet. We are all so shocked and find it hard to believe that this has happened. It leaves a bad feeling in the air.

"This is a mixed area and is very well settled. The people who live in this area have been here a long time."

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery said: "Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of man whose body was discovered in a car in the Limehurst Way area of Lisburn. Police received the report shortly after 4.20pm. A post mortem examination will take place to determine the cause of death, which is being treated as suspicious at this time.

"A 44-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder. Police do not believe that there is any paramilitary involvement in this incident."

The victim's son Gerard has previously had £750,000 worth of property and money -including two properties in Lisburn and a Porsche Boxster car - frozen by the now-defunct Assets Recovery Agency.

It led to the closure of his second-hand car dealership Top Carz.

The agency stated in court that it believed Mulligan had derived income from a range of illegal activities - including fraud, tax evasion and false accounting.

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