| 16.6°C Belfast

Grave of murdered Warren Crossan vandalised in west Belfast

Close

The damage caused to the grave of Warren Crossan in Milltown Cemetery. Photo Pacemaker Press

The damage caused to the grave of Warren Crossan in Milltown Cemetery. Photo Pacemaker Press

The damage caused to the grave of Warren Crossan in Milltown Cemetery. Photo Pacemaker Press

The grave of murder victim Warren Crossan has been vandalised at Milltown Cemetery in west Belfast.

Police confirmed they were investigating the incident after damage was caused to a headstone at a cemetery on the Falls Road.

Significant damage has been caused to Mr Crossan's resting place with his headstone shattered and family tributes and flowers destroyed.

It is understood the damage was caused between 10am on Tuesday and 10am on Wednesday.

Sinn Fein MP Paul Maskey condemned the vandalism.

“In the early hours of this morning the grave of Warren Crossan was vandalised in Milltown Cemetery with the headstone and other family tributes destroyed," he said.

“Those involved in this attack must be unreservedly condemned. Many grieving families find great comfort in visiting cemeteries, they are places of peace and reflection.

“The desecration of a grave is very distressing for any family.

“Those involved in this criminality should stop this activity and allow this family to grieve in peace.”

Mr Crossan was shot dead in broad daylight on St Katharine’s Road in west Belfast last month.

He was chased by two masked gunmen through streets packed with people and motorists before he was shot dead on June 27.

He was laid to rest in the cemetery earlier this month following a service in St John the Evangelist Parish Church on the Falls Road.

Parish priest Martin Magill directly addressed the shocking nature of his death, and urged any witnesses to contact police.

The latest attack comes after the home Mr Crossan shared with his partner was targeted in a petrol bomb attack last week.

Mr Crossan was the son of murdered dissident republican chief Tommy Crossan, killed at a fuel depot in Belfast on Good Friday in 2014.

Close

The grave of Warren Crossan in Milltown Cemetery before it was damaged. Photo Pacemaker Press

The grave of Warren Crossan in Milltown Cemetery before it was damaged. Photo Pacemaker Press

The grave of Warren Crossan in Milltown Cemetery before it was damaged. Photo Pacemaker Press

It is understood Warren Crossan was killed for providing the getaway car used in the killing of Dublin hitman Robbie Lawlor.

At the time of his death Mr Crossan was on police bail accused of possessing £180,000 of cocaine with intent to supply after being arrested at the A1 near Sprucefield last November.

He was also on the run from gardai having skipped bail for a series of alleged burglaries in Donegal.

Close

Warren Crossan

Warren Crossan

Warren Crossan

Speaking at the time of Mr Crossan's murder Detective Chief Inspector Darren McCartney told reporters links to organised crime had not been ruled out.

He described it as a "callous and reckless killing", and saying the shooting taking place in a residential area on a Saturday afternoon "just beggars belief".

“Warren was well known to police and that is part of the strategy of the investigation as it goes on at this time but again – it is a very early time at the start of this investigation and we cannot make a speculation around what has happened and why Warren was murdered," Detective Chief Inspector McCartney said.

Constable Andrews appealed for anyone with information about the vandalism to come forward.

"I would appeal to anyone who has any information about this incident to contact police at Woodbourne on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 633 15/07/20.”

A report can also be made using the online reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport. Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Belfast Telegraph