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Man held over barman's 1976 murder is released

Detectives investigating the murder of a father-of-eight almost four decades ago last night released a 61-year-old man they had arrested earlier.

Alec Jamison (47) was found shot dead in a derelict house at Argyle Street in the Shankill area of Belfast on March 5, 1976. He had been reported missing a week earlier by his family.

Police said they were investigating whether Mr Jamison — said to have links to the UDA — was killed by members of the loyalist terror group.

Detectives from Serious Crime Branch arrested a man in Crumlin yesterday as part of their investigation into the murder of the popular barman 38 years ago.

He was taken to Antrim Serious Crime Suite for questioning and released unconditionally last night.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway, said: “Alec Jamison was well-known in the Shankill area as a barman. He had worked in the old Salisbury Bar on the Shankill Road and that is the last place he was seen alive.

“Alec was in the bar on Saturday February 28, 1976 and was in the company of a group of men.

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“A week later his body was found with gunshot wounds in a derelict house at Argyle Street.

“I am aware that Alec was involved with the UDA and that he may have been in dispute with, or fallen foul of, some of its members. This is one line of inquiry which we will pursue.”

The case was reopened by detectives after fresh information came to light. Mr Jamison’s family did not want to comment on the development.

DCI Galloway added: “I appreciate this happened a long time ago but I believe there are still people in the area who will remember Alec and may have information about what happened to him.

“I am appealing to anyone who saw Alec between the time he was in the Salisbury Bar on Saturday 28 February with a group of men and when his body was discovered in Argyle Street on Friday 5 March to contact police.

“If you know anything about what happened or who was involved, please talk to police. The number to call is 07717 473543.

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