herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Fighter Conor McGregor joins mourners as gun victim Paul Kavanagh buried

The funeral of Paul Kavanagh, inset, far right, Paul Kavanagh, and Conor McGregor
The funeral of Paul Kavanagh, inset, far right, Paul Kavanagh, and Conor McGregor
Paul Kavanagh funeral
General view of coffin being carried from house to the church. Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin
Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin
Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin.
Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin
Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin
Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin
Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin
Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin
Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin
General view of horse-drawn trailer taking flowers from church after funeral mass. Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin
General view of horse-drawn hearse taking coffin from church after the funeral mass (with separate trailer, right, taking some of the flowers). Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin
Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin
Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin
Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin
Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin
Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin
Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, Dublin
Funeral of Paul Kavanagh. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh

UFC star Conor McGregor was a prominent mourner at the funeral of Ireland's latest gangland victim.

McGregor, one of Ireland's most high-profile sports stars, is understood to be very friendly with the dead man's professional boxer nephew, Jamie Kavanagh, who spoke at the ceremony at a church in Drimnagh, Dublin.

However, Paul Kavanagh's service was shunned by many of his former associates in the Christy Kinahan gang, including the godfather himself and his two sons Daniel and Christopher Jnr.

Father

The father of two young girls became the latest gangland victim when he was shot in his car as he left home in Drumcondra on March 26.

His older brother Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh (44) was gunned down in a bar in Spain in September of last year.

The song He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother played as Paul's blue casket was brought to the Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel on Mourne Road in the his native Drimnagh.

The shooting of the gang enforcer was a terrible evil which is now "all too frequent in our city", Fr Sean McArdle told the congregation.

"Remember that violence is never against one person, it devastates a family and a community," he added.

A young woman representing the Kavanagh family and Paul's partner Gemma Roe read a few words about him.

"Paul was the most loving, caring, affectionate person you could ever meet. He had a huge heart, and not to forget his huge smile," she said.

"Even in a room full of people he would kiss Gemma and tell her he loved her, or hold her hand. The love they had for each other was very special," she added.

"He lived for his family and he adored his two beautiful girls," the young woman said.

"He really loved being a daddy and he cherished every moment of it because he lost his own dad at the age of five," she added.

"The day his brother Gerard died a part of Paul died too, and with Jamie (Gerard's son) he would do everything in his power to help carry on where Gerard left off - he really took on that role, and he was so proud of Jamie.

"He was bursting with happiness when he won his last fight," she explained.

Jamie Kavanagh also spoke at the service.

"We were inseparable," he said, adding that it was Paul that first brought him to a boxing club and got him started.

After the funeral, many of the murdered man's associates went to a reception in his honour at a south inner city hotel.

Gardai believe Paul Kavanagh was most likely murdered by his own gang, led by exiled crime-boss Christy Kinahan, for stealing cash he was supposed to be collecting for them.

hnews@herald.ie

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