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Weapon used to kill psycho Lawlor 'yet to be found' - PSNI

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Robbie Lawlor

Robbie Lawlor

Robbie Lawlor

Police in the North said they have yet to recover the gun used in the fatal shooting of gangland hitman Robbie Lawlor as they appealed for key information, including sightings of the car used in the murder.

Detectives from the PSNI's Major Investigation Team probing the murder of the Coolock criminal in north Belfast made a further appeal for information yesterday.

Lawlor (35) was gunned down outside a house in Etna Drive last Saturday April 4.

"This was a horrific and callous murder, carried out in close range and in broad daylight, and those involved need to be removed from the streets," Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery said.

Appeal

"At this stage, I believe that a single gunman was involved in the killing, firing multiple shots at the victim and striking him a number of times. The murder weapon has not yet been recovered."

Mr Montgomery appealed to anyone who may have that information to come forward.

"I believe the white VW Scirocco car, registration YLZ 7052, which was found burnt out in nearby Kingston Court, was parked in Estoril Park in Ardoyne the day before the murder, on Friday April 3 at 10am.

"It was stolen in the Republic of Ireland on January 30. I am appealing to anyone who saw it, between March 31 and Friday April 3 in Estoril Park until it was found burnt out on Saturday at approximately midday in Kingston Court, to speak to me.

"I would also appeal to any motorists or taxi drivers who were in the area at that time and have dashcam footage to please bring it forward to police.

"I am also interested in speaking to anyone who was in the Etna Drive or Strathroy Park areas on Saturday, April 4 and again if any drivers or taxi drivers have dashcam footage."

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A burnt-out car found on Etna Drive in Belfast
following the murder of Dublin hitman Robbie Lawlor

A burnt-out car found on Etna Drive in Belfast following the murder of Dublin hitman Robbie Lawlor

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

A burnt-out car found on Etna Drive in Belfast following the murder of Dublin hitman Robbie Lawlor

Lawlor was a suspect in at least six murders.

Since his release from prison in December gardai were on high alert expecting him to become involved in various feuds between Drogheda and Coolock.

These concerns were quickly justified when, on January 13, the limbs of 17-year-old Keane Mulready-Woods were found in a sports bag in Coolock.

Lawlor soon became a chief suspect in that killing.

In the wake of the Lawlor murder a 17-year-old Limerick teenager was arrested in relation to the shooting.

The youth is closely associated with the Dundon crime gang in Limerick and was in the company of his 33-year-old uncle, a notorious crime figure, at the time of the murder.

The two had travelled to Belfast, along with Lawlor and a third man, as part of a suspected drug debt collection run.

Detectives believe this was a double cross to ambush Lawlor as a gunman lay in wait at the Ardoyne house as he arrived to demand money.

The minor is well-known to gardai due to his links with the Dundon gang. When he was aged just nine he was the centre of a district court case after his pet Alsatian attacked and injured a garda.

It followed months of concerns raised by local residents about the out-of-control animal.

They were too afraid to make formal statements due of the then child's links to the Dundon gang. The dog was later destroyed by court order.