Falkirk man arrested in connection to Belfast sectarian murder

Mount Pleasant service station in North Belfast, where Seamus Gilmore was shot in 1973
Mount Pleasant service station in North Belfast, where Seamus Gilmore was shot in 1973

A Falkirk man was arrested in connection with a terrorist murder in Northern Ireland more than 40 years ago.

The 59-year-old was later released pending a report to prosecutors in the Province.

The man, who has not been named, was taken into custody on Monday by detectives who had travelled from Northern Ireland.

It is understood he was then questioned at a police station in Glasgow.

A 61-year-old was arrested and interviewed in London before he was also later released.

The detectives are investigating the murder of Seamus Gilmore, who was only 18 when he was shot by Loyalist paramilitaries, the Ulster Volunteer Force, at a petrol station in Ballysillan Road, north Belfast, on February 4, 1973.

Two men got out of a hijacked car driven by a third man and fired at the teenager.

He later died in hospital from his injuries.

A spokesman for the Police Service Northern Ireland said: “Two males, aged 59 and 61, who were arrested by detectives from PSNI’s serious crime branch investigating the murder of Seamus Gilmore in 1973 have been released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service.”

Falkirk was at the centre of a major terrorist investigation in the mid-1990s when it was discovered that a Laurieston pub was being used by Loyalists involved in gun-running.

Two men, a 49-year-old from Laurieston and a 41-year-old from Bonnybridge, were sentenced to 10 years and eight years respectively for their part in their part in the plot.

They appeared with four others at a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh in December 1995, all accused of plotting to acquire guns and explosives for the paramilitary UVF.

During the trial, Special Branch and MI5 officers told how they had followed men to the Tam Bain pub, where the plot to acquire guns and bullets to be smuggled into

Northern Ireland was hatched

When the men first appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court there was unprecedented security in and around the building, including armed

officers.