A close pal of leading dissident republican Colin Duffy was gunned down at a drink and drugs fuelled party yesterday.
Belfast Daily can reveal that Eamonn Ferguson was fatally shot a number of times by the son of a convicted killer at a flat in north Belfast.
Ferguson, who is in his 30s, is well known to anti-terror cop for his hardline dissident republican views.
Last week he was pictured at a ‘white line’ protest in north Belfast over a protest about dissident republican inmates held in Maghaberry prison.
Ferguson was often seen by cops in the company of Lurgan dissident chief Colin Duffy before his arrest last December following a covert surveillance operation.
And Ferguson has been visiting Duffy in Maghaberry prison where he is being held for plotting to murder police officers.
However, detectives from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team (MIT) don’t believe dissidents shot him dead.
They are working on the theory that he was shot dead during a fall out at a house party in Ardoyne Place where his remains were found at 3 am.
Said a security source: “He was at a house party with a couple of mates. They were drinking heavily and taking drugs.
“There appears to have been a bust up and Ferguson was blasted several times at close range.”
During follow up inquiries, MIT detectives arrested two men for questioning about the murder.
Belfast Daily understands one of those being questioned at Musgrave Street PSNI station is a close friend of Ferguson.
The suspect is the son of a convicted killer who is serving life for shooting dead a man in north Belfast during a jealous rage more than a decade ago
He is currently fighting to have his conviction overturned claiming he was “framed” by cops.
His son can be held for up to 24 hours before cops either charge or release him. However, detectives can apply to a court for extra time to quiz him and the other suspect.
MIT detectives have set up a special incident room at Musgrave Street police station to co-ordinate the investigation.
They have appealed for anyone who saw or heard any activity in Ardoyne Place before or after the shooting to contact them on 0845 600 8000.
Local SDLP MLA Alban Maginness urged anyone with information about the shooting to contact police.
“This is terrible news for a family to receive, made worse by the tragic circumstances.
“On behalf of the community I extend my sympathy to the family following this sad and frightening incident,” he added.