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TV appeal over ex-IRA man killing

Published 25/05/2015

Gerard Davison was shot dead in Belfast (PSNI)
Gerard Davison was shot dead in Belfast (PSNI)

Detectives hunting the killers of a former IRA commander are to make an appeal for information on Crimewatch.

Gerard "Jock" Davison was shot dead in the Markets area of Belfast earlier this month.

The 47-year-old was hit several times as he walked along a street in the staunchly republican estate close to the city centre.

Superintendent Kevin Geddes from the Police Service of Northern Ireland's (PSNI) serious crime branch said detectives needed more help.

"The investigation is progressing but we need more information.

"The opportunity provided by Crimewatch will hopefully generate calls from people who can help us apprehend the killer."

Mr Davison, a grandfather and father of three was targeted as he walked along Welsh Street towards a community centre on Tuesday, May 9.

Officers re-visited the scene of the crime exactly a week later and renewed their appeals for information.

In this latest appeal, police are expected to disclose new details about the gunman's movements and the weapon used.

As the IRA officer commanding in Belfast, Mr Davison was one of the best-known republican figures in the city.

He backed Sinn Fein's peace process strategy following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and was employed with the Markets Development Association as a community worker.

He was allegedly involved in the fight that led to the death of Belfast man Robert McCartney in January 2005 and was among three IRA members expelled following an internal investigation in the wake of the death. He was questioned by police but released without charge.

Mr McCartney's sisters, who were forced to move out of the nearby Short Strand, led a long-running battle for justice for the killing of their brother following a bar argument, which took them to the White House.

The killing happened at a time when Sinn Fein was under pressure to accept the rule of law in Northern Ireland. Its decision to support the police two years later led to the formation of a ministerial executive at Stormont and the sharing of power between republicans and the DUP.

Mr Davison's uncle, Terence Davison, was later acquitted of Mr McCartney's killing.

Crimewatch will be broadcast on BBC 1 NI tomorrow at 9pm.

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