SUNDAY 17/08/2003 16:18:53 UTV
Dissidents murder Belfast man

Dissident republicans murdered a man at his home in west Belfast today

The 35-year-old victim was shot three times by two gunmen who called at his home in Ross Road.

The man's partner and six children were all at home when the killers called at about 11am, shooting him in the chest, thigh and ankle.

Detectives believe the murder might have been a so-called punishment shooting which went too far.

One said: "It may have been one that went wrong or just got out of control.

"I wouldn't even say this was the result of any feud. He could just have offended somebody and ended up getting this."

Even though the shooting took place in the staunchly republican west Belfast, security sources immediately ruled out the Provisional IRA.

Police believe renegade republicans opposed to Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness and their support for the Northern Ireland peace process were behind the murder.

It is believed the victim opened the door to the gunmen.

"There was no forced entry. The door was open and he let them in," one source said.

The dead man was later named locally as Daniel McGurk.

It is understood he was targeted following a dispute with dissident republicans which flared last week.

A source in west Belfast said: "He was beaten up a few days ago and then he went looking for those boys last night.

"But it seems they got their retaliation in first and shot him today. This has been smouldering all week and it looks like they (the gunmen) knew what they wanted to do because they went to his house fully armed up."

Security sources said the victim was gunned down in his living room.

He was taken to the nearby Royal Victoria Hospital, where he died.

--Press Association

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