Family of father shot dead outside school speaks out

Jim Donegan was shot dead in his car outside a school on the Glen Road in west Belfast. Credit: Family photo

The family of a father shot dead outside a west Belfast school has told UTV his murder was a cold-blooded assassination.

Jim Donegan, 43, was sitting in his car on the Glen Road – waiting to pick his 13-year-old son up from school – when he was shot eight times by a lone gunman on Tuesday afternoon.

Two men arrested over the killing, aged 51 and 49, have since been released unconditionally.

Meanwhile, an uncle of the victim visited the scene of his brutal murder just 48 hours on.

“All we want to do is get Jim laid to rest – it’s heart-breaking, absolutely heart-breaking,” he said, too frightened to be identified.

It is the first time any of the family has spoken out about the killing, hitting out at speculation about why the victim was singled out.

“I’d like to maybe just appeal to people to sit back and think – he was a father, a son, he was a good-natured fella,” his uncle said.

“You know what, maybe tomorrow it’ll be someone else’s son.”

The scene of the fatal shooting on the Glen Road in west Belfast. Credit: UTV

The shooting happened close to two schools – St Mary’s Grammar School and the Christian Brothers secondary school.

They both remained closed on Wednesday, but reopened on Thursday with councillors and psychiatrists on hand to help those who witnessed the fatal shooting.

Teachers tried to shield their pupils from the worst of the bloodshed, but the victim’s uncle fears that his nephew’s son will never get over what has happened.

“Coming down the school lane to be ushered back up, knowing that his daddy had been in the car, dead … Terrible,” he said.

“Just please stop all the madness – we don’t want any other families to go through what we’re going through at the minute.”