Dissident republicans claim responsibility for Belfast murder

Thursday 10 October 2013 22.59
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Kevin Kearney's body was discovered in a lake in Alexandra Park in Belfast
Kevin Kearney's body was discovered in a lake in Alexandra Park in Belfast
Police search the area near where Mr Kearney's body was found
Police search the area near where Mr Kearney's body was found
The alarm was raised when Mr Kearney did not return from a walk in Alexandra Park
The alarm was raised when Mr Kearney did not return from a walk in Alexandra Park
Forensic teams investigate the scene
Forensic teams investigate the scene
A dissident republican group has claimed responsibility for the attack
A dissident republican group has claimed responsibility for the attack

A dissident republican organisation has claimed responsibility for the shooting of a man whose body was found in a lake in Belfast yesterday.

The group made the claim in a statement to the Belfast-based Irish News newspaper.

Kevin Kearney, 46, disappeared after leaving his home on Dunmore Avenue to take his dogs for a walk in Alexandra Park.

The PSNI said the circumstances surrounding Mr Kearney's death can only be described as a "cold-blooded and callous murder".

Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway said Mr Kearney was following his usual weekday routine by taking his daughter to school and returning home.

At around 9am, the father-of-four took his two dogs for a walk in the park.

His dogs later returned to the Dunmore area without him and the police were alerted at 8pm on Tuesday night that Mr Kearney was missing.

His body was found in the lake at 3.30pm yesterday and police said that he had been shot.

Police have issued an appeal to anyone who may have been in the park between 8.30am and 9.30am yesterday to contact them.

They also want to speak to anyone who may have seen a silver Peugeot 406 with the registration GNZ 8168, which was found burnt out at Donore Court in the New Lodge area at 9.30am on Tuesday.

Alexandra Park is divided by a 3m high peace wall, which was erected in 1994 to prevent sectarian fighting between nationalists in the Antrim Road and loyalists on the Shore Road.

In September 2011 a gate linking the two communities was opened for the first time.

The lake is located at the upper end of the park.