Suspected paramilitary man shot dead in north Belfast

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness describes shooting as 'shameless'

Sunningdale Gardens

Sunningdale Gardens, north Belfast | Imnage: Google Maps

A man believed to be a leading member of a loyalist paramilitary group has been shot dead in north Belfast.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said he was shot in the Sunningdale Gardens area, off Ballysillan Road, at around 9.50pm.

The man, who has been named locally as John Boreland, is thought to have been a member of the Ulster Defence Association. 

Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster tweeted that she was "shocked and disgusted to hear of a murder in north Belfast tonight.

She urged people to work with the PSNI as they investigate.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness described the shooting as "shameless", adding: "There can be no justification for the murder of a well known loyalist in north Belfast tonight.

"This was shameful and I unreservedly condemn it."

Local DUP MP Nigel Dodds said: "The appalling murder in north Belfast is a shocking and disgusting act of violence. Those who carry out such violence are rejected by virtually everyone in Northern Ireland. 

"They do not represent the people of North Belfast. They are a throwback to a past which the overwhelming mass of people have left behind. "

Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward.