Murder hunt begins after man shot dead in social club in Belfast

<span>Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA</span>
Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

A murder investigation is under way after a man was shot dead in a social club in west Belfast on Sunday.

Two masked men entered the Donegal Celtic sports and social club in Suffolk Road shortly before 2.30pm and shot the victim a number of times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

DCI John Caldwell of the Police Service of Northern Ireland said the investigation was at “a very early stage”. Urging anyone with information to get in touch, he said: “Both gunmen are believed to have made their escape on foot along Suffolk Road.”

It’s understood the club was busy with people watching football on TV when the shooting took place, in an incident that has sent shockwaves through the area.

Paul Maskey, the Sinn Féin MP for West Belfast, said: “There’s total shock in this community today with the offence that happened in Donegal Celtic today.

“My thoughts and sympathies are with this man’s family. I personally don’t know the victim, but what I do know is that there’s a family there, and our thoughts and our sympathies are with this man’s family at this stage.”

Maskey also urged anyone with information to come forward. “I condemn those responsible. There is no place for guns on our streets,” he said.

There was a heavy police presence at the scene in the aftermath, and part of Suffolk Road remained closed on Sunday afternoon, with a number of diversions in place.