PSNI launches murder investigation after Belfast social club gun attack

The man shot dead at a west Belfast social club has been named locally as Sean Fox.

He had been watching the Manchester derby with friends in the social club at Donegal Celtic FC in west Belfast when two masked men walked in and shot him multiple times.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Fox was, it is understood, a known associate of Jim Donegan who was murdered as he waited outside a nearby school in December 2018.

On Sunday afternoon the bar at Donegal Celtic FC was busy with the crowd watching the football.

The community is said to have been shocked at the brutal killing.

Police at scene of gun attack in west Belfast. Pic Pacemaker.

Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Major Investigation Team have launched a murder investigation.

Sinn Féin MP for West Belfast Paul Maskey said: "There's total shock in this community today with the offence that happened in Donegal Celtic."

"My thoughts and sympathies are with this man's family.

"I personally don't know the victim but what I do know is that there's a family there and our thoughts and our sympathies are with this man's family at this stage.

"There is a family there and obviously they're grieving at this particular stage and obviously they'll be looking for assistance from the community as well.

"But there's shock within this community and people are sending their condolences to this man's family."

Mr Maskey urged anyone with information to come forward to police.

"I condemn those responsible. There is no place for guns on our streets," he said.

Sean Fox

Alliance MLA and Policing Board member Nuala McAllister added her condemnation.

“I condemn this sickening attack, which has left the entire city shocked, particularly as it took place in the middle of the afternoon in public,” said Ms McAllister.

“My thoughts are with the loved ones of the victim, who have been left grieving following this brutal act, carried out by those who don’t speak for anyone in the community. Guns have no place in our society and the culprits need to be taken off our streets immediately. “I appeal to anyone with information on this incident to take it to police right away.”

SDLP Councillor Brian Heading appealed for anyone with any information in connection with the shooting to contact police.

He said: “The local community in west Belfast is in complete and utter shock after a man was shot dead at a social club in the area on Sunday afternoon. My thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased who will have been left devastated in the wake of this senseless attack and the loss of their loved one.

“This incident has cast a dark cloud over the entire area, people in this community want to be able to live their lives in peace and this shooting in broad daylight in a busy establishment must be condemned in the strongest possible terms by all.

“People are rightly concerned at the presence of gunmen on our streets and I would urge anyone who knows anything about this shooting to come forward to police as soon as possible. We need these people apprehended to protect the community and ensure that nothing like this happens again.”

Part of Suffolk Road remained closed on Sunday afternoon with a number of diversions in place. Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell said: “At approximately 2.45pm, police received a report that two masked men had entered the Donegal Celtic Sports and Social Club shortly before 2.30pm and shot the man a number of times. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Both gunmen are believed to have made their escape on foot along Suffolk Road. “The investigation is at a very early stage and I would urge to anyone with information or anyone who was in the Suffolk Road area at the time the shooting took place and seen two men running from the club or who may have captured dashcam footage to contact us on 101 quoting reference number 1120 02/10/22.” Information can also be provided online using our non-emergency reporting form via Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at

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