Northern Ireland

High-profile loyalist George Gilmore dies after gun attack

George Gilmore
Image caption George Gilmore was shot in a "ruthless attack in broad daylight", police said

Police have started a murder inquiry after a high-profile loyalist who was shot as part of a paramilitary feud in County Antrim died in hospital.

George Gilmore, who was 44, was in his car when he was attacked in Carrickfergus on Monday afternoon.

A dispute between loyalist factions in the town has been ongoing for months.

Police have described the murder as a "ruthless attack in broad daylight" and have appealed for help in indentifying those involved.

Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption The shooting was carried out by an unmasked gunman, Sammy Wilson said

Det Ch Supt Raymond Murray of the Police Service of Northern Ireland said: "Our thoughts are with the Gilmore family at this time as they come to terms with their loss.

"Those involved had no consideration for the local community when they carried out their attack in a residential street populated with families, young children and older people."

'Tit-for-tat war'

The feud involves two factions of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) paramilitary group, Democratic Unionist Party MP Sammy Wilson said.

"One side, in broad daylight and unmasked, have taken the opportunity to try to kill one of the Gilmore family," he added.

Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Police sealed off part of Pinewood Avenue as they investigated the attack on Monday

Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs urged the factions involved in the feud to remain calm in the wake of the attack.

"Let this be a learning point - stop the paramilitarism, bring it to an end, because it is ruining our communities," the East Antrim representative said.

"I am fearful that others may wish to start a tit-for-tat war, but if that happens everybody loses."

The shooting came after a serious assault on a doorman at a nearby bar on Sunday.

Three men appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court on Monday charged with attempted murder.

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