Jim Donegan murder linked to the INLA

Detectives investigating the murder of a father outside a school in Belfast have linked the killing to the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).

Jim Donegan, 43, was shot dead as he waited to collect his 13-year-old son from St Mary’s Christian Brothers Grammar School in west Belfast in December.

Police believe the lone gunman previously tried to murder Mr Donegan and have released CCTV footage showing the man waiting outside the school five days earlier.

The CCTV images have been broadcast on the BBC’s Crimewatch Roadshow Live programme.

Mr Donegan was gunned down in front of schoolchildren and parents on Tuesday December 4.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery said: “Jim was a husband, a brother, a father to two sons and a stepfather, and over three months have passed since his cold-blooded murder.

“Jim’s family deserve to have answers and this dangerous gunman needs to be removed from our streets but I need the public’s help to do this.

“I am releasing new CCTV footage which I believe shows the gunman, five days before Jim’s death, waiting for him to arrive to collect his son with hundreds of innocent children nearby.”

The detective said Mr Donegan was not collecting his son that day but believes he would have been murdered if he had been.

The PSNI released an image last month of what the suspected gunman may look like.

Shooting in West Belfast
Shooting in West Belfast

Mr Montgomery said: “My investigation into the callous execution of Mr Donegan continues to progress and a republican element is a main line of inquiry, specifically the INLA, but I really need the public’s help to remove this dangerous man from our streets.

“Do you recognise the man in the CCTV footage? He may be late 30s to early 40s, approximately 5ft 8in and may walk with a limp or may have an existing medical condition that impacts on his walking style.

“This is someone who thought it was acceptable to put the lives of countless children at risk and murder Jim – please help me put him before the courts.”

He added: “On the day of Jim’s murder, I believe the gunman emerged from Clonelly Avenue on to Glen Road around 3.10pm.

“He then walked past numerous children at around 3.15pm, calmly activated the pedestrian crossing, crossed the road and walked up Jim’s car, firing his weapon eight times before fleeing the scene.

“He was wearing a high-vis hip-length yellow jacket with ‘security’ on the back, dark bottoms with a grey-coloured hat or hood and carrying a dark bag over his shoulder, which I believe contained the gun.

“I want to hear from you if you were in the area at the time. Did you see the gunman?

“Did he go into a house afterwards or get into a waiting car? Do you have any dashcam footage?

“Perhaps you have heard anyone talking about the killing? Please come forward with any information that you have.

“The family have been left devastated and hundreds of children and families who witnessed the murder have also been left traumatised.

“The callous actions of the gunman will have catastrophic psychological effects on them all.”