Inquest into death of ex-PIRA commander Jock Davison not expected before 2024

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An inquest into the death of former Provisional IRA commander Gerard “Jock” Davison is not expected to take place before 2024, Belfast Coroner’s Court has heard.

The 47-year-old was shot dead in the Markets area of Belfast as he walked to work in May 2015.

Mr Davison had been involved in a personal dispute with other republicans.

Three months after Mr Davison was shot dead, former IRA man Kevin McGuigan was murdered in a gun attack in nearby Short Strand.

Former PIRA colleagues Mr Davison and Mr McGuigan had also been involved in a dispute.

Kevin McGuigan shooting
Kevin McGuigan was murdered in a gun attack (Family handout/PSNI/PA)

However, detectives have said there is no evidence to support that.

An inquest into the death of Mr McGuigan is also in its preliminary stages.

A separate hearing to vet security files, called a public interest immunity (PII) hearing, in Mr McGuigan’s inquest is set to take place in June.

Coroner Paddy McGurgan is presiding over both inquests.

On Wednesday, a preliminary hearing ahead of Mr Davison’s inquest was told the inquest into Mr McGuigan’s death is to take place in September.

Counsel for the PSNI Peter Coll said further materials have been identified for the coroner’s staff to review.

“Indeed, they anticipate as their research continues there will likely be some further material as well,” he said.

Mr Coll said there may be some learning to come from the PII hearing in Mr McGuigan’s inquest, in terms of Mr Davison’s inquest

Michael Brentnall, for Mr Davison’s next of kin, said it had been a “long and drawn out process”.

“It has certainly gone on at some length, but I appreciate if further research has found further materials then I suppose our hands are tied in respect of that,” he said.

“The issues will be thrashed out in the McGuigan PII process given what is ultimately a close proximity to this inquest.”

Mr McGurgan was told by his counsel that Mr Davison’s inquest is not anticipated before 2024, and it will be a case of keeping that under review.

The next preliminary hearing is due to take place on May 3.

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