Shock at brutal murder of father-of-six
There has been shock and anger in west Belfast following the
cold-blooded murder of a 35-year-old father of six children yesterday.
The victim was named locally as Daniel McGurk from Ross Road in the
Lower Falls area.
Mr McGurk was fatally wounded by two gunmen who called to his house
around 11 a.m. yesterday. He was brought to the nearby Royal Victoria
Hospital but died later from his injuries.
His wife Patsy and some of his six children aged from 18 months to
about 16 years were in the house at the time and witnessed the
shooting, locals said.
The murder was apparently the result a personal dispute between the man
and an armed gang thought to have links with the self-styled dissident
'Real IRA'. Speculation that Mr McGurk had died as a result of a 'Real
IRA' punishment shooting was dismissed locally.
Local Sinn Fein councillor Mr Fra McCann, expressing sympathy to Mr
McGurk's family, said local people were shocked at the killing. "There
can be no possible excuse or justification for the murder of this man,"
said Mr McCann.
West Belfast MP Gerry Adams expressed his shock and outrage at the
murder. Mr. Adams also extended his sympathies and condolences to Mr.
"There is a great sense of anger and outrage within West Belfast
brutal and senseless murder of Danny McGurk on Sunday morning," he
"The people of the lower Falls are also deeply offended at suggestions
that Mr. McGurk was the target of a punishment shooting. On the
contrary Danny McGurk was the victim of gangsterism and thuggery."
Mrs McGurk, who was last night being comforted by relatives, expressed
her disbelief at the brutal shooting.
"They didn't give him a chance. There was only one way into the living
room and he didn't even have anywhere to run.
"I don't think they cared about the kids. They could have been sitting
watching TV with him. Don't they have families of their own? I hope God
forgives them for what they have done," Mrs McGurk added.
Mr McGurk's mother Mary said her son had been beaten with hatchets and
hammers just a week before his murder, after "standing up" to
"They're just cowards. He was just standing up to them. He was a
strong fella. He didn't need a weapon, he just needed his hands,"
"They are nothing but the devil's disciples and drug dealers. He
deserve that. They gunned him down in front of his children."
His brother Martin McGurk also said he believed the killers had a
"They are scum and people in the area don't want them. They're just
for their own protection," he said.
* Meanwhile, the dissident 'Continuity IRA' admitted responsibility for
a series of hoax bomb alerts over the weekend and promised to escalate
its campaign if its prisoners are not segregated from loyalists at
The alerts led to serious traffic jams in Belfast, Lisburn and
Carrickfergus and came on the fifth anniversary of the Omagh bomb
attack by republican dissidents, in which 31 people died.