Northern Ireland

Man released over 1976 north Belfast murder

Paul McNally
Image caption Paul McNally was married with two children

A 55-year-old man arrested as part of a renewed inquiry into a murder in Belfast in 1976 has been released.

Paul McNally was fatally wounded and another man seriously injured in a sectarian gun attack outside a bookmaker's shop on the Crumlin Road.

Two gunmen fired on a group of men before escaping in a yellow Ford Cortina that had been hijacked on the Shankill Road minutes earlier.

The man was released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service.

The investigation was re-opened after police received fresh information.

Mr McNally, 26, a plumber who was married with two children, died in hospital two days after the shooting.

A passing Army patrol fired on the gunmen as they escaped. The vehicle was found later in the area where it had been hijacked.

'Random attack'

Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway said the inquiry had been re-opened following "the receipt of information and a number of preliminary enquiries".

"I fully appreciate the challenges of renewing an investigation into events which took place more than 36 years ago but I believe there are people in the Ardoyne and elsewhere who can assist," he said.

"This random sectarian attack took place on a busy Saturday afternoon in June.

"I would appeal to people who spoke with police at the time of the murder to make contact with the new investigation team. I would also ask those who may not have previously spoken to police to contact detectives investigating Paul McNally's murder."