Man arrested over murder of UDA member John Boreland

Police are investigating whether the killing is linked to tensions within loyalist paramilitarism

Man arrested over murder of UDA member John Boreland

An undated photo of John Boreland | Image: PSNI

Police in Northern Ireland have arrested a man in connection with the murder of loyalist John Boreland.

The 42-year-old suspect was arrested in north Belfast last night.

Mr Boreland, who was a member of the UDA, was shot dead near his home in the Sunningdale Gardens area of the city at around 9.50pm on Sunday.

He had just stepped out of his car when he was shot several times at close range.

The prominent loyalist was known to the PSNI and had survived a previous attempt on his life in 2014.

Police said he had received a formal warning about his safety in the past few months.

Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway told reporters yesterday that a number of lines of inquiry are being followed. 

"Tensions within loyalist paramilitarism and criminality are among those lines of inquiry but they are not the only ones," he said.

"Our early assessment is that this was not a sectarian attack.

"It is important that people with information about what happened or who have information about Mr Boreland come forward and give that information to police."

Condemnation

The murder has been condemned by both Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

Ms Foster tweeted that she was "shocked and disgusted" to hear of the killing.

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

"This was shameful and I unreservedly condemn it."

Local DUP MP Nigel Dodds said: "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. "

Anyone who saw Mr Boreland on Sunday night or was in the area around the time of the shooting has been asked to contact the PSNI.