Northern Ireland authorities say a 36-year-old man was shot dead as he sat on his living room sofa in a case with suspected links to drug dealing and Irish Republican Army extremists.

Police say Danny McKay died Thursday night at his home in suburban north Belfast after being shot at point-blank range by two gunmen. A suspected getaway car was found in Catholic west Belfast, an IRA power base.

Detective Chief Inspector John McVea says McKay was involved in criminal activity but says nothing he "may have done in his life merits this."

The Irish nationalist Sinn Fein party says residents in McKay's neighborhood are blaming an IRA faction.

Several splinter groups opposed to the Provisional IRA's 2005 decision to renounce violence continue to mount occasional shootings and bombings.