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Man arrested after ex-IRA chief shot dead in Belfast

Forensic officers at the scene of the shooting on Tuesday. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

A man has been arrested and another released following the fatal shooting of a former IRA commander in Belfast.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said a 27-year-old man had been detained on Wednesday evening in relation to the murder of Gerard "Jock" Davison, who was gunned down in the street a day earlier.

A 41-year-old man arrested earlier has been released without charge, the force said on Twitter.

Earlier, police appealed for the public's assistance after Davison, a 47-year-old grandfather and father of three, was shot numerous times while walking in the staunchly-republican Markets area close to the city centre.

As the IRA officer commanding in Belfast, he was among the best-known republican figures in the city.

Former IRA commander shot dead in Belfast

A former IRA commander was shot dead in Belfast this morning.

Gerard "Jock" Davison was shot in the republican Markets area near the city centre.

Police in Welsh Street, in the Markets area near Belfast city centre following the fatal shooting of Gerard Credit: PA/PA Wire

It is understood the victim, a father of three, was making his way to a community centre from which he worked when he was attacked.

Sinn Fein South Belfast MLA Alex Maskey said: "What we have had here today is a very brutal killing of a local man.

"He is a very well-known person in this area. His family are well-known and he is very well-regarded in this area as a long-standing republican."

He said the family, who live in the area, were "very distressed", but he declined to speculate on who was behind the shooting.

I am not blaming anybody. I am not getting into any sort of speculation but quite clearly the people who killed this man this morning have robbed the community of a valuable worker and robbed a family of a loving family member.

Clearly they have nothing to offer.

– Alex Maskey


Escaped Irish prisoner apprehended in Belfast

A British-born prisoner who was on the run after escaping from a hospital near Dublin after allegedly stabbing two prison officers has been apprehended in Belfast, the Police Service of Northern Ireland has said.

Derek Brockwell, 53, was being taken to a hospital in south Dublin from nearby high security Portlaoise Prison yesterday, when he reportedly made his violent bid for freedom.

The PSNI said in a tweet that officers detained the escapee in Belfast City Centre earlier today.

Army bomb squad probes Belfast car blast

A device is believed to have exploded under a car in west Belfast, police say.

The blast, which took place just after midnight, left the parked car extensively damaged and prompted an evacuation of the area.

Army bomb squads are investigating the site and two others in the city where a suspicious object was reported.

Police are also searching at a street in Lurgan, County Armagh after a report from a member of the public, though no suspicious objects have yet been found.

"We believe at this stage that a device may have exploded or partially exploded under a parked car causing extensive damage to the car," Inspector James Murphy said.

UTV reporter Paul Reilly reports from the scene of the blast:

No further details are currently available, police said.


Three arrested over racist attacks in east Belfast

Police in Northern Ireland said they arrested three men on suspicion of carrying out a number of racially motivated hate crimes across east Belfast on Monday night.

Virgin Atlantic launch Belfast air service to the US

Virgin Atlantic launch Belfast air service to the US Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

Sir Richard Branson's airline Virgin Atlantic is set to fly from Northern Ireland for the first time.

A total of eight services will be opened between Belfast and Orlando in Florida in June and July 2015.

Virgin is also expanding its existing Las Vegas services by operating flights to the Nevada gambling city from Glasgow in autumn 2015.

Belfast's July 12th parades 'pass off peacefully'

Twelfth of July parades in Belfast have passed off peacefully, according to UTV reporter Marc Mallett.

Three men were stabbed in the early hours of Saturday morning in sectarian clashes ahead of the parades.

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