Markets Murder

The shock waves sent out by yesterday morning’s killing of Markets man Gerard "Jock" Davison in Belfast continue to ripple giving rise to neither shortage of speculation nor plenitude of insight. Topped up with the obligatory dollop of inaccurate tabloid sensationalism and laced with the musing of schadenfreude-driven gloaters on social media, other than that a man has been arrested most of us seem none the wiser as to what lies behind the killing.

In terms of protesting the murder, it hardly matters who killed Jock Davison or why they did. There is nothing good about the killing and everything bad. People have the right to walk the streets free from murder. Those who seek to murder should not be free to walk the streets. Context as mitigation will simply not cut the mustard.

Mick Fealty at Slugger has been pilloried for describing the killing as an interesting development. Much ado about very little and perhaps more of an early but futile attempt to dissuade Fealty from bringing to the surface discourse associating the dead man with the fate of Robert McCartney, murdered in 2005. It would be a much greater problem were the appalling Davison murder not an interesting development. This was an unarmed member of the public brutally gunned down as he set out to do a day’s work. Disinterest sets in when these killings are viewed as routine, nothing to be concerned about or interested it. It was no different from the murderous attack on Joe O’Connor in Ballymurphy in October 2000. He was gunned down while he sat in a car by people as pernicious as yesterday's killers.  That too was an interesting development and if society is not interested in such horrific occurrences it may expect more of them to develop. 

My own experience of Jock Davison was not a bad one. Initially hostile to the peace process, claiming that a description of it as a “strategic disaster” was a understatement, there was lobbying at one point to have him installed as chief of staff at the age of 27. Then, like many others who swore to resist the peace process, he came to embrace it, adopting a critical although not overly hostile stance towards those not on board. While attitudinally typical of the my movement right or wrong malady that paralysed critical thinking within the Provisionals he was always more approachable and likeable than many of his associates. One of his former colleagues now wholly at odds with Sinn Fein described him today as "mannerly and courteous." It was invariably how I found him, causing me some surprise when his name emerged the morning after Robert McCartney died. Unlike many others said to be involved in the attack he had not developed a reputation for bullying. 

He hailed from a Markets family well-known for its association with republican activity.  His father is mentioned on a number of occasions in Southside Provisional by the former IRA operative Ciaran Conway. An uncle was shot dead by Loyalists in 1988 while another was the released internee nominated to provide context to prisoner releases resulting from a temporary IRA ceasefire in January 1975. Other family members had travelled through the prison system as a consequence of their republican activism.

The rapid appearance on the scene of yesterday's killing by people who were senior colleagues of Jock Davison during his IRA years was a statement that he was their man, despite the suggestions that he had become a persona non grata in the aftermath of the McCartney murder.   

While it is often put forward that some event or incident threatens the peace process without there being any real substance to it, it is not hard to imagine how an event like this could have repercussions. Regardless of who murdered Jock Davison few should delude themselves that the current or former Provisional IRA activists who gathered grim faced at yesterday’s murder scene, will hang around like sitting ducks for some score settler of any hue to declare open season on them. That alone will create a strategic pressure within the PSNI, in addition to the more normative investigatory one, to deliver results in this case sooner rather than later.


  1. Given the movement's explicit and implicit warnings that they will respond to any threats or outright attacks on senior members, it's hard to fathom how Fealty's reaction isn't a reasonable one after all. This may also give us some idea just how far the movement and its supporters have really gone in accepting the legitimacy of the PSNI. "Interesting" may be an understatement.

  2. very dignified piece. Never knew of this man when I heard the news I thought it must have been the man charged with the McCartney killing. Pretty sad all round.

  3. PT, sure it may be an understatement. But based on past performance its more than likely an over statement.

    The Provisionals are like an articulated truck in a one-way street. They find themselves in a situation where they can't back-up and they can't turn ... sure they can slow up the flow or they can even grind to a halt and throw a temper tantrum ... there may even be some road rage responses from some members if not held in check by the leadership but ultimately the leadership understands they will have to get back in the truck, get going again and move with the system.

    Condolences to those that grieve Mr Davison.

  4. Well said AM, Jock was a great man and a great republican, his murder by state agents will be a great loss to us all. RIP Jock

  5. My initial thoughts went to that of vol Joe O Connor and his needless murder. the clamour for justice if not revenge will be interesting compared to the silence of Joe O Connors murder but then the whole world including the psni knew who whacked Joe, Jock Davidson was a player in the big game of treachery a part of the problem we have all been left with, I couldnt lose any sleep over this,other than it will be interesting to see if they really havent gone away, we can bet that they havent,

  6. To tar all members of the provisional movement with the same brush is dumb and ignorant! Am makes an excellent point. People's commentary at times like this shows them for what they are! If you lack humanity with regards to the cold blooded murder of an unarmed citizen, a devolved father, grandfather and community worker regardless of who they are or thier politics, if you gloat at this death or smirk like Paul Clarke reading the news, if you take a head line story like the McCartney sisters then you are no better than all those other inhaumanane pices of crap that seem to
    Make there way to prevailance in today's society! Jock Davidson was a man that stood up to the might if the British forces when many hid under their beds! Any one that knew him, knew he was hard but intelligent, fair and just! He was no thug, he was no bully, he was able to deal with things that most people could not even comprehend.

    As I said earlier regardless of the mud slinging that will continue, Jock Davidson was a great person and great republician, unbowed and unbroken and like Cu Chulainn feared until they murdered him! A republician legend who will be rembembered fondly by all that knew him!
    Big Jock RIP


  7. if you take a head line story like the McCartney sisters then you are no better than all those other inhaumanane pices of crap that seem to
    Make there way to prevailance in today's society!

    Like those so called Republicans that gloat at Dee Fennells internment, eh Che?

  8. Dee fennel announced that people should not campaig for irpwar prisoners without permission! Dee fennel was happy to
    See Martin og excluded from his community! I would stand for what is right and ask nobody's permission! In my oppiion dee fennel became through his lust for power without responsibility an inhumane person! As so called republicans bow their heads to drug dealers and their money and are an aftont to true republican values then maybe time in her majesty's torture chambers will humble his increasingly bad attitude!

    I agree that dee has been interned, but like when the wizard of Louth was interned for days I had trouble having sympathy for him!

    You miss my point, I will be happy to support any one who deserves support, arm chair generals shouting orders and giving poor advice I can't support!

    People like jock were never arm chair generals, he was a true solider, the way in which the British murdered him at time of so called time of peace is testimony to this! They hadn't got the courage at times if war!
    That said if anyone was murderd in this way unarmed in the view of their community and family I would sympathise with them! If any one can't understand that we'll you are probably not worth taking to!

  9. What happened in Maguinness bar the night of Robert Mc Cartneys murder was nothing more than thuggish and organised criminality, the fact that this man was never charged or convicted says it all about how rotten this state is,anyone who had a principled bone in their body would have no truck with it never mind taking the wages offered for quisling cooperation, those ranking members of the movement who seemed the bravest in prm who were not murdered by the state have slowly been unearthed as touts, I know of noone murdered by thugs from under a bed,but I know lots of thugs who are now castle catholics and well suited and booted,at the heart of government,never mind unbowed and unbroken try bought and sold for English gold...

  10. That said if anyone was murderd in this way unarmed in the view of their community and family I would sympathise with them!
    Then im probably not worth talking to, I don’t understand how you can say the above and smear the McCartney sisters. I suggest it shows you cannot understand the tragedy of both murders (because they both are tragic), your gestures of respect for one are just posturing because of who Davison was.

  11. Ur the one quoting McGuuiness no one else! It's funny how you pick and choose when they are right and wrong! It's ok for arm chair generals to shout and ball about what they would do or what they wouldn't do! The fact is like many good republicans you have havnt spent any time in places like the strand or markets! With small quantity of support against the state and its agents with little or no backing from the good people of west and north Belfast! I wd say the war in that area has never ended! I stood beside the republicans in that area many a night ! They recieved no English silver they recieved very little support! They have held their ground and continued to fight ! If they have decided to follow the provisional route that's their prerogative ! But what I do know them areas faced up to more oppression than most and continue to be strong! So with good conscience people in that area believe that is the way forward that's their choice ! But before u critise drive through the areas and you will not see the wealth and trappings that are prevlant in the area in which you live! Roll your selves up and do the work on the ground instead of shouting from the sideline! The only agents in McGuuiness bar that night btw was the well known untouchable gangster that was sent in to murder, a man with a seizable criminal record that seems to stay out of jail. The same gangster that currently floods north Belfast with drugs with absolute immunity ! The same piece of shite that phoned robert McCartney to come to his death! But don't mention that we fact! Wonder who recieved his taxes? It's not the provisional movement!

  12. Mmm an empty vessel makes the most noise, Stakeknife, married to a Davidison , tout, Ruby Davidson lying in the republican plot, tout,there does seem to be a history there methinks, we had this crap on TPQ before about what did you do in the war crap...couldnt be arsed

  13. Everybody is a tout with no evidence to back it up! Take it ur info comes from the Irish independent ! Just you repeat what the masters tell you!

    Do you think mi5 would have allowed a tout to be killed by its own agents !

    You can't have it both ways, there is absolutely no evidence backing the claim ruby was a tout! In fact the reality tells us the opposite!

    Snake knifes life style tells a different story!

    Maybe all yous arm chair brigade sitting smoking your cannabis and god knows what else should go and get a job with Uncle Tom Paul Clarke a show your delight when a true solider of Irish freedom is murdered!

    Sure just join the prm and call every body a tout! And that makes it ok!

    The fact is just another cowardly shite bag that won't admit you have probably always hid under your sheets and any excuse will allow you to stay there!

    Dime a dozen! Big Jock like other out standing republican activists are a rare thing!

    People like him took the Brits to the point of surrender! Dedicated never any fame or glory, then the shite talkers came in and threw it all away!

    Believe me, all that knew him knew his greatness, unfortunately it looks like irreplaceable for the foreseeable future!

    At least if your are going to make dumb ass allegations show something to back it up! But sure as Uncle Tom would say! Yea messa I does it boss, your right boss!

    The fools the fools!

  14. Reading the above comments strengthens my belief in the need for an unbiased, impartial education system for the working class. Some of these bloggers statements would lead one to thinking, their is more brains in a false face. Has anyone considered the old adage "big boys games big boys rules" If one appropriates gangland style justice it is likely that one's own system may be used as the standard to which one is tried under. The PIRA frequently executed people, in broad daylight, in front of their children; who gave them the right? This killing I would suggest stinks of the murky world of gangland bloodletting. lets just separate the IRA's side show flirting round such scenes, all be it as regulators, and noble revolutionary warfare against bravely fought against military forces of oppression. The IRA has a dark underbelly this time just like the Alan Ryan killing the belly infected itself.

  15. drug dealers didnt shoot back in the old days but loyalists did , apart from the annadale flats mafia did the hallion battalion actually do anything for their community , smallwoods wasnt a south belfast op and neither was seymour so apart from the drug dealers taken out by jocks so called unit in the 90s exactly how many loyalists who were butchering the nationalist community did he actually account for , none it appears.

  16. Ché you obviously held Mr Davison in very high esteem and are greatly saddened by his passing. You sound shocked and angered that not everyone shares your opinions; in times of grief and shock that's a normal and understandable enough response.

    Indeed in times gone by it was customary not to speak ill of the dead ... at least not in the immediacy of their passing. There was some wisdom to this practice.

    Alas the times are changing and ultimately we'll just have to be patient as the full narrative unfolds. In the process of the full story emerging there are likely to be exaggerations, distortions and perhaps untruths too, especially in cases like this. Eventually some consensus will emerge that will reflect some approximation of the truth.
    Best perhaps just to support those that grieve for now and later in calmer moments address your concerns about distortions to the narrative of Mr Davison's life and of his untimely and violent passing.

  17. Great super smart Emmett has all the answers because he is more intelligent than the rest of us! He has a great education! Tbh you sound like a dopey besterd to me!

    In most socities when there blatant hits on the public, offenders cover their faces and try not to be caught by CCTV ! When a hit man is able to murder someone in broad day light, during rush hour traffic in one probably was of the most visually recorded areas in Europe, one has to suggest is that not a bit strange!

    When the local police with all great resources are unable to detain someone in these circumstances one has to sugest isn't that a bit strange!

    The fact that this whole episode will be forgoton much like the Alan Ryan murder after approx 9 days, one again has to suggest isn't that a bit strange!

    The strange thing isn't the response by the state and it's forces, because these murder victims are opposed to the state! The strange thing is how the great and the good of society sit like the three wise monkeys and say nothing! Or better still just describe it as an under belly in society , that apeases the simple folk like emmet.

    All sorted, gunmen can run about in broad daylight and murder without consequence all because if an underbelly in society!

    Wake up throw a crisp out your car window in the same area and you will be surprised how quick you will be prosecuted!

    But your right there is an underbelly , the underbelly is the British and irish states playing and deciding who gets justice and who doesn't!

    And who gets a great education like emmet the clown and who doesn't !

    That's your underbelly, the corrupt, lousley democratically elected representatives that you prop up!

    Thank god for intelligent people like you emmet!

  18. "The corrupt,lousley! democratically elected representatives that you prop up" that sounds exactly like quisling $inn £eind and their supporters esp those in paid community jobs...

  19. "The underbelly is the British and Irish states playing and deciding who gets justice and who doesnt " nearly agree with that statement except for the Irish state bit ,those bastards let their people be slaughtered in Dublin and Monaghan etc and never made a serious effort to bring the killers to justice ,this time def the brits and their agents , your point is also lost when we recall that the prm was willing to be agents for the state in executing Vol Joe O Connor in broad daylight in a busy street ...

  20. FFs be consistent! People like we're saying the murder of joe oconor was wrong when it wasn't a popular thing to say! People like me were saying silence on these issues is wrong,regardless of who the players are!

    The fact is people like you like the British and irish state are happy to pick and choose! The murder of any irish citizen by the British and it's agents is wrong ! The murder of anyone in front of their family and community is wrong regardless of who it is or who's doing it!

    Consistency not cheap shots when the opportunity arises!

  21. I for one have been consistent in my condemnation of quisling $inn £eind and the treachery that they have embarked upon, their willingness to act as agents of the state is beyond contempt ,Davidson was complicit in that, the pira expelled Davidson under what must have been Green Book rules, yet they never executed Martybroy Mc Guinness or those involved in the destruction of weapons belonging to the Irish people, thats hypocrisy , but to be truthful they have been consistent in that,consistently treacherous from the time Gerry Itwasntme quisling president for life allowed men to needlessly die on hunger strike consistent in betraying every tenet of republican ideology and pardon the pun but its not a cheap shot its the truth and end of my contribution on this thread , MURPHYS LAW AND ALL THAT...

  22. Che you seem to know a lot about this crime. You allude to the killers faces not being covered. How do you know what way it took place? Moreover, Was the faces of Robert McCartney's killers covered? did the cops cover that up? - no the IRA covered that up. Jock's involvement is well documented.

    The truth, no matter how hard it is for you to digest, is jock fell victim to the form of justice he once appropriated: violence. Don't expect sympathy from those outside the gang warfare scene. Was his murder vile and crude? - yes. A crime? - yes. morally wrong under Christian/western values? - most certainly. However, I would suggest all of the above could be said about some of Mr Davidson's victims, if not all. The question now is; can you accept that? And do you accept if jock was guilty, of said crimes, he should have been in a prison cell rather than working in a community centre?

  23. Emmett get yourself an education, you sound like a red neck! Either you believe in the rule of law or you don't!
    Unless you have some insight into the life of big jock you don't have a clue what he ever did or didn't do!

    All of us should be entitled to basic fundamental human rights protections, including right to fair trial !

    As far as know jock was never charged with regards to the killing if Robert McCartney ! Maybe you know something the psni and the courts don't!

    The fact is rmc was called to the bar by his gang ester mate, a thug that refused to give evidence in the trial of his dead friend who he called to the scene! A thug that continues to live his gangster life in north belfast!

    The uncomfortable truth for cowards like you emmet is that jock had the courage to stand up to these filth when people like you cower in there pressance!

    I know you love make assumption for example the education standard of people on this Blogg and the backgrounds to which they come from, you blame the working class what ever that even means and their poor education , this is because like many irish people you suffer from slave mind mentality, which unfortunately for you in incurable, that said if you keep you half assed oppinions to your self this would certainly help!

    At a vigil tonight in the markets area hundreds of people stood in the pouring rain in support of big jock! Good people!

    So cowardly ignoramus like your good uneducated pea brain self can shout and ball all you like, but the massive funreal tomorrow will highlight the fact that jock Davidson was loved and respected by many people, espically the people of the markets and short strand who knew him best!

    Again I will finish by saying he was dedicated irish republician solider, who help fight the British to surrender, they feared him life and no doubt as his memory will live on in all that knew him, they will fear him in death!

    A republician legend, big Jock RIP!

  24. I always thought every decent Republican , of which there are many stood up to hoods and other criminal elements in our society , not just the yes men , the British were on the back foot long before the shinners decided to do deals with them.

    The period in between saw good and decent Republicans marginalised and sidelined by Adams and his family mafias , just look at who is related to who in the PSF pecking order and I'm sure what I have written here will make sense.

  25. che - Cut the crap! jock stood up to no one without the weight of a mini army watching his back.. Devine would have battered jock with his bare fists and jock knew that. would jock have went toe to toe with those in that bar that night one on one? not a chance. With a gun in his hand or a butchers knife, perhaps. The truth is people don't fear the PIRA anymore - a worrying development if you are an member of said group. The killing was wrong. As I have stated, its as wrong as any other violent crime republican or otherwise but it comes with the territory unfortunately.

    It can be viewed as a mirror image of IRA executions. A few years ago the press including An Phoblacht would have termed it "an audacious hit" had it been dealt out by the IRA; because it was not makes it no less audacious. What do you want me to say? would you like me to comfort you by saying this mans killing moved me in a way such as the killing of a innocent child or noncombatant? unfortunately outside a small circle of staunch Belfast PIRA supporters jock Davidson will be swallowed up by history, a mere footnote in the context of Irish nationalism. sadly just another mindless victim of his own making.

  26. Good point Emmet and although no one on this thread has even deemed my comments valid enough to respond to them then perhaps someone in ardoyne needs to seriously watch his back.

  27. Emmet you need to get yourself some sort of working class education ! The gangster you speak off has never won a fair fight in his life! No doubt he is a heavy puncher but has no pace! You can check out his boxing career that proves this! Never won a fight in his life! Outside the ring he picked on drunks when he was usually high as a kite! Sober he wdnt go toe toe with any one! A known fact! He when high he relys on his cheaply bought gang members! I was unfortunate enough to attend school with this piece of crap and he was a bully thug all his life, a spoilt rich kid all his life!

    Believe we when I tell you his over size mouth is the biggest thing about him!

    It's a know fact that so called republicans have not challenged criminals , in fact sometimes side with them.

    Thankfully there are those that do.

    Also I don't think for one second that the criminals that you seem to worship had any thing to do with the murder of big jock ! The reason is I know most of these filth and they don't have a brain cell or the ability to do this type of thing, this is despite this story is being peddled by the media and psf through social media!

    It is my firm belief the cowardly murder was carried by the British secuirty services possibly assisted by local scum, some of which may be involved in the prm!

    Open your eyes and seek the truth, this has all the hallmarks of state murder but of course you prefer a love hate type theme, simply doesn't add up!

    Check it out?

  28. Staufenberg - having casually spoken to a few ex-members of pira about jocks murder the one thing that struck me was the effect it initially had on them. As one former volunteer who, as we say, has a rather colourful history within the community, put it "it makes me reflect on the reality of my vulnerability"

    It's how the pira handle this threat that is interesting givin that SF are uncomfortably in bed with the PSNI. Another overlooked aspect is the modern day ability of criminals to procure proficient arms. The pira in the north are a bit rusty in comparison with elements of both the Inla and real ira when it comes to dealing with, or experiencing, the heavy collateral damage which is part and parcel of engaging post ceasefire criminal gangs, never mind loan wolf retributionist attacks. Che seems tangled in romantic, heroic, super man ira bullshit. The reality is, Belfast is worryingly catching up with inner city Dublin.

  29. FFs emmet you watch to much tv!
    Gang land hits in Dublin and limerick are accepted by the state as part and parcel of oppressing areas in which there may political opposition! In limerick when the rugby player was mistakingly shot dead the guards were able to have convictions within a very short period, the same gang had murdered and terrorised the local what you would describe as working class population for years! When it spilt over into what you would describe as the middle class the state were quick to act, this is a form of state collusion.

    In the cases of Alan Ryan and jock Davidson an invisible man is able to carry out a murder in brood day light, a very able to make an escape! The mo is the same, two in the body three in the head, similar practice used for years by the sas. What I can't understand is why people like you and the prm have very quickly taken the sdlp position that state collusion. Does not exsist.

    The fact is in drug finds, there are usually machine guns or shot guns, fully auto matic hand guns are extremely hard to come by.

    I have no doubt criminal gangs in Belfast would have the want to kill high profile ex members of the IRa. The fact is and I have said before when living in Ireland I knew these scum, they just don't have the intelligence for it!

    I don't worriship anyone, and during the war here if people were killed in this way, there is no doubt to many it was acceptable, but in times what they call peace the state and its agent operatating in this way should be totally unacceptable.

    This murder is without doubt a state sanctioned murder and like with Alan Ryan and others there will be no convincitions.

    So go back under your sdlp stone join with members of the prm follow what what main stream media including republican news and go and live in the fucking clowds, watch your we box set of love hate and believe in that we gangland fantasy!

    Ireland is a tiny country with a tiny population, I am currently living in New York State and I don't read of this amount of tv style killings!

    Although this seems to become almost acceptable by the Irish public, in the real word people usually get caught and convicted!

    State murder and collusion was denied by people like you in the 80s and 90s, then after years of overwhelming proof you may have a accepted it took place.

    Unfortunately now as an outsider it is obivious that it rages on!

    Wake up and look at the evidence , no doubt you will be reading your Sunday world with regards to sources, and I wdnt be to quick to accept the word of your awl Provo mates as they are out sdlping the sdlp.

    Three wise monkeys emmet, which one are u?

  30. give my head peace Che ya rocket ye!

  31. Yea u keep taking your drugs emmet!
    Wonder who u get them from? Your loud mouth worthless hero!
    Remember try and get yourself that education you were talking about!
    You need it, try reading a we book and stay away from the tv for a while!

  32. Mackers your awful quite here. Any thoughts on why, jock instead of any other Provo leader got killed? If he was as people say "a decent bloke" then one must suspect a one off incident like the McCartney killing sparked it. Is it perhaps he was a lamb to the slaughter amongst his once loyal clan after he brought shame on the movement? This may have afforded his would be killer some inspiration. Or was jock involved in some dark underworld activity that the Ira, PSNI, or fir that matter the media are reluctant to report. I notice that the premier gutter press ie red top Sunday tabloids have, as of yet, held back in reporting their tuppence worth - strange in my view. SF although condemning it, seem a bit half arsed really in a way had say Bobby storey succumb to the same fate there would be serious implications. Is it that mad che is not so mad, and his theory of British involvement has some weight - although I very much doubt it, unless of course jock was an agent of the state. Lots of questions to be answered, lots of theories to be probed. So come on Mackers get yer thinking cap on ;)

  33. Emmett,

    no idea whatsoever why he was killed or who killed him.

    Sunday Life had a piece on it which you seem to have missed. Any truth in it? Haven't a clue.

  34. So Che knows all about who did this from the safety of New York State. What a clown.