Belfast Telegraph

Man arrested over murder of former IRA leader Gerard 'Jock' Davison

Detectives investigating the murder of a former IRA commander in Belfast have arrested a 41-year-old man.

Gerard 'Jock' Davison (47) was walking to work when he was shot in the Markets area of south Belfast on Tuesday.

Witnesses described how the killing took place in front of terrified children, one of whom cried out "daddy, daddy".

He was shot a number of times while walking along Welsh Street in the staunchly republican Markets area close to the city centre.

As the IRA officer commanding in Belfast, the 47-year-old was one of the best-known republican figures in the city.

Police have ruled out a sectarian motive or dissident republican involvement, amid speculation the shooting was linked to a grudge.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway, said: "The suspect was detained in Belfast this morning and is being questioned at a police station in the city. A property in north Belfast was searched last night as part of the overall investigation.

" I would again appeal to people who were in the Welsh Street area at 9am yesterday and who have information about the shooting to talk to detectives at Musgrave police station."

Davison 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 Markets, 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.

Further reading:

Gerard 'Jock' Davison: Stuck in the shadow of the Robert McCartney killing, but never far from senior republicans 

Gerard 'Jock' Davison murder: Police plea with residents to engage with detectives 

Markets murder: Former IRA chief gunned down as a child cried out 'daddy, daddy'

Gerard 'Jock' Davison: Well regarded in republicanism... but someone wanted him dead

Former IRA leader Gerard 'Jock' Davison shot dead in south Belfast

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