DISSIDENT murder victim Kieran Wylie was gunned down after being accused of betraying an Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH) weapons hide to police and setting its members up for arrest.
He was also suspected of providing cops with details of a paramilitary meeting that led to the jailing of a senior figure in the gang.
Ex-Provisional IRA member Wylie strongly denied the informant claims, and in the weeks before his death used intermediaries to contact ONH leaders on his behalf to make this known.
In a final act of desperation, he painted graffiti on walls branding his main accuser a "tout" - a reckless move that cost him his life.
Last Sunday night, the 57-year-old grandfather was murdered by two masked gunmen at his home in the Lenadoon area of west Belfast.
The killing, which occurred in front of the victim's two horrified daughters, was professional in its execution. He was shot in the torso before being finished off with a bullet to the head as he lay helpless on the floor.
Wylie had been a prominent member of ONH and was regularly seen in the company of its leaders, but he was sidelined by the terror gang after police discovered an arms dump on the outskirts of west Belfast in 2016.
A Skorpion machine gun, two semi-automatic pistols, two magazines and a quantity of ammunition were found in a shed at the rear of a house on Foxes Glen in Twinbrook.
The tenant, Edward Corr - a 40-year-old with no links to dissident republicans - was jailed for nine months for possessing the stash.
The father-of-three told detectives he was threatened at gunpoint by a man who ordered him to store the weapons, which were to be collected within six weeks.
A short time later, heavily armed police officers acting on intelligence recovered the firearms and bullets and said they had belonged to ONH.
Sunday Life understands that this is when the organisation first began to doubt Wylie, but what sealed his fate was a court case earlier this year that led to a senior figure being jailed.
Robert O'Neill (42) was caged for 12 months after he was secretly recorded by MI5 interrogating an alleged drug dealer who the gang had abducted and were holding in a dissident safe house.
He pleaded guilty to collecting information likely to be of use to terrorists and assault, with a charge of ONH membership left on the books.
A further three prominent dissidents were arrested as part of the same MI5 bugging operation, one of whom cannot be named because he is facing fresh criminal charges.
The other two, Kevin O'Neill (62) and Mark Heaney (52), were found not guilty of ONH membership when the prosecution offered no further evidence against them.
O'Neill had been previously named in court as having a "leadership role" in ONH, while Heaney was described as a "middle-ranking member". Both deny these allegations.
After the court case concluded in January, the dissident group is understood to have held a second internal inquiry into Wylie and identified him as an informant.
For the past four months he had been the target of a whispering campaign branding him a "tout".
The pub doorman was also accused of setting up Conor Hughes, who was arrested by police while transporting an ONH blast bomb through west Belfast in 2014. The 28-year-old was subsequently caged for 11 years for possessing explosives.
Wylie was further suspected of tipping off police about a planned kneecapping attack that led to the jailing of ONH Belfast boss Sean O'Reilly (44), Stephen McAllister (50) and 57-year-old Anthony Rooney.
He furiously denied the informant claims and made it known to the terror gang that he was innocent of the allegations, but Wylie's pleas were in vain and he was murdered last weekend in the most horrific of circumstances.
Shortly after 10pm last Sunday, two gunmen forced their way into his home and shot him multiple times in front of his two daughters before escaping on foot.
Detective Chief Inspector Darren McCartney, who is leading the murder probe, said: "Those involved in this appalling murder have absolutely nothing to offer Northern Ireland. Nothing justifies killing another person, and the recovery of the gun that was used in last night's murder is a key line of inquiry."
After Wylie was killed, rumours began circulating that he had been gunned down by drug dealers in revenge for an extortion attempt. However, this has been rubbished by dissident sources.
One said: "He was shot because ONH accused him of being a tout- it's as simple as that.
"There were all sorts of rumours flying about on social media that drug dealers murdered him, but that's nonsense.
"Wylie was blamed for telling cops about the arms dump in Twinbrook and setting up ONH members for arrest.
"He should have left his home when he was first threatened. Instead, he stupidly painted graffiti on walls around Lenadoon accusing a senior ONH member of being a tout.
"It was this and staying in west Belfast which cost him his life."
Wylie's role within ONH was to act as muscle and drive its members to safe houses where alleged drug dealers were interrogated.
He is understood to have suffered a mental breakdown some years ago.
Republican insiders believe his killers are also linked to the gangland murder of millionaire cocaine baron Jim Donegan in December 2018. Police have accused the ONH and INLA of jointly being involved in the fatal shooting at the gates of a west Belfast school.
The violent republican group emerged out of a split in the Real IRA a decade ago. It called a ceasefire in January 2018, but was careful to say this applied only to the "British state".
Since then ONH, which has since divided into two rival factions, has carried out several attacks in nationalist areas of Belfast.
The organisation achieved notoriety in 2010 when it maimed Irish-speaking PSNI constable Peadar Heffron in a booby-trap car bomb attack.