PSNI appeal for information and calm after loyalist murder in Belfast

John Boreland had been warned over his personal safety

PSNI appeal for information and calm after loyalist murder in Belfast

An undated photo of John Boreland | Image: PSNI

Police in Northern Ireland have appealed for information following the murder of prominent loyalist John Boreland in north Belfast last night.

They have also called for calm in the local community, and said there will be an increased police presence in the area over the coming days.

Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway, from the Serious Crime Branch, is leading the investigation.

He said: "At just before 9:50 last night John Boreland was returning home to his flat at Sunningdale Gardens in north Belfast. He had just got out of his car when he was shot at close range a number of times. His injuries were such that he died at the scene.

"Police believe that a shotgun was used in the attack."

Mr Boreland (46) had lived in north Belfast for some time. He leaves two sons and a daughter, a fiancée, a sister and his mother and father.

Detective Galloway says he has visited the family.

"John Boreland was known to police. He had survived a previous attempt on his life in 2014 and had been warned by police about his safety within the past few months," he added.

Police say they are following a number of lines of enquiry in relation to his murder.

The PSNI has also confirmed that tensions within loyalist paramilitarism and criminality are among those lines of enquiry - but they are not the only ones.

An early assessment is that this was not a sectarian attack, the force says.

The PSNI has a number of specific appeals:

  • To hear from anyone who was in the Sunningdale Gardens area around 9.50pm last night who saw or heard the shooting or anything suspicious
  • To hear from anyone who saw a number of vehicles leaving the scene last night. These include a motorbike, a silver Renault Megan car and a black Peugeot 307 car
  • To talk to anyone who can assist with completing a picture of Mr Boreland's movements in the 24 hours leading up to his death