Belfast Telegraph

Jim Donegan murder: Ex-Met officer questions investigation into Belfast shooting

Jim Donegan
Jim Donegan

A former Scotland Yard detective has asked questions about the PSNI's investigation into the shooting of Jim Donegan outside a west Belfast school.

Mr Donegan was shot dead by a lone gunman while at the wheel of his Porsche as he waited to collect his 13-year-old son from school on the Glen Road on December 4.

Mr Donegan owned a car sales business which operated from an industrial complex at Drumbo.

People who work at the yard have told the BBC officers have not been to interview them about the murder.

CCTV of the red Porsche outside St Mary’s Grammar School (PSNI/PA)

John Devitt, a former detective with the Metropolitan Police for 22 years, told the BBC he cannot understand why police have not approached people at the yard more than two months after the murder.

He said: "Twelve weeks down the line for individuals not to have been seen is very concerning."

He added: "Given the length of time from the murder, I am actually quite shocked that police have not been there.

"I think (this) is a major issue, and police have major questions to address. It tells me their priorities are not as they should be. The golden hours in any murder investigation is the first 24 hours, let alone the first hour of an investigation."

EvoFit image of the man suspected of murdering Jim Donegan

People working at the business park told the BBC police had not spoken to them to ask if they had seen anything suspicious leading up to the murder.

One said: "After he was shot we expected police to come and we've been waiting ever since. You would have expected them to have come by now, and you would have expected them to come as close to the event when things might be still clear in your mind. If you were a cop would you not come and talk to the people who worked in the same yard as him."

Another said: "No-one has been in to see us or anything. No cops. I actually seen Jim the day that he was killed. He was in the yard here, he came in a taxi and then he drove out later in his Porsche. He waved and said hello and that was it.

"That was about 10.30am on the day he died. So that was about five hours before he was shot."

Detective Chief Inspector Pete Montgomery (Niall Carson/PA)

The PSNI said it has spoken to 155 witnesses, conducted 15 searches and arrested four people during its investigation so far.

All those arrested have been released without charge.

A e-fit of the gunman has also been released by detectives.

Detectives are investigating a number of lines of enquiries, including a possible dissident republican link to the murder.

Detective Chief Inspector Pete Montgomery appealed to anyone with information to contact police on 101.

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