Prominent dissident Republican Tommy Crossan shot dead in west Belfast (Belfast Telegraph)

Prominent dissident Republican Tommy Crossan has been shot dead in west Belfast

The fatal shooting happened near the Peter Pan Centre industrial estate on the Springfield Road just before 5pm on Good Friday.

A section of the Springfield Road has been closed to traffic while police investigate the scene.

Mr Crossan served 10 years for conspiracy to murder RUC officers following a gun attack on a police station in west Belfast.

He was the commanding officer of the Continuity IRA – a republican terrorist group opposed to the Irish peace process.

He was also a father of four, and had been warned that his life was in danger some years ago after being threatened.

He told the Sunday World: “I’m going nowhere. My conscience is clear.”

SDLP Councillor Colin Keenan, who lives nearby, has released a statement condemning the murder adding: “in doing so I reflect the view of all of the community.”

He said: “There is a real sense of shock that this has happened.

“I was on the scene shortly after this tragic event and I extend my heartfelt sympathy to the victim’s family.

“We have long hoped that the shadow of death had been lifted from West Belfast.

“Today’s event is a terrible, tragic reminder of the violent conflict of the past.”

Tommy Crossan told The Observer in 2000 that hunger striker Bobby Sands was “one of his great heroes”.

“I was ten when he died, that’s when I became interested in republicanism but everything he fought for has been sold out,” he said.

“Prisoners like him died for political status, and now it’s being taken away from republicans at a time Sinn Fein are doing something they vowed they would never do – sit in a Stormont government.”

More to follow…

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