Police make ‘inquiries’... over a week after republican shooting

Martin McElkerney
Martin McElkerney
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Police carried out “house to house inquiries” in the Divis area of west Belfast yesterday over a shooting more than a week ago ahead of the funeral of INLA child killer Martin McElkerney.

Shots were fired outside his Ross Street home during a paramilitary-style display on Monday, May 20 following McElkerney’s death earlier this month.

McElkerney, who was jailed in 1987 for his part in a botched bomb attack five years previously which claimed the lives of a British soldier and two local schoolboys, died in the Royal Victoria Hospital after sustaining head injuries in a shooting incident at Milltown Cemetery on May 17. Police said they are not seeking anyone else in connection with the incident.

Yesterday, the PSNI said detectives had “conducted a number of inquiries” as part of their investigation into the paramilitary-style shooting display.

Shots were fired into the air during the incident.

Social media footage showed a masked man wearing a white shirt and black tie discharging several rounds from what police described as an “automatic weapon”.

Detective Inspector Carol Dane said: “The scene at Ross Street on Monday 20th May, of a man shooting an automatic weapon into the air, was not only shocking and reckless, but also a criminal act, which was carried out by those who seek to control communities through fear of violence.”

The detective added: “We visited the area today and carried out house to house inquiries and a further trawl for CCTV footage as part of our ongoing investigation. I believe there are many in the Divis area who feel that violence has no place in their community, and it is them I appeal to when I ask for information.

“Anyone with any information can speak directly to detectives at Musgrave on 101 or totally anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”

McElkerney’s funeral took place at St Peter’s Cathedral in west Belfast last Thursday.

A large crowd of men, many with their faces covered and wearing berets, led the funeral procession.

His coffin was draped in the tricolour and the starry plough flag.

He was thought to have been, at one time, the leader of the INLA in Belfast.