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Thursday 8 December 2016

Tearful scenes as fiancee and family say a final farewell to innocent victim of gang war

Martin O’Rourke’s fiancee Angelina Power leans against the hearse containing his body. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Martin O’Rourke’s fiancee Angelina Power leans against the hearse containing his body. Photo: Caroline Quinn

This is the final moment a loving fiancee shared with her partner after he became the latest victim in the deadly Hutch/Kinahan gangland feud.

Innocent father Martin O'Rourke (24) was gunned down on Sheriff Street in Dublin city centre in a case of mistaken identity last week.

The father-of-three was laid to rest following an emotional service attended by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

In a heartbreaking moment, Martin's distraught partner Angelina blew a kiss to a picture of the victim as a hearse brought him to his final resting place.

Mr O'Rourke's young daughter also shared "one last dance" with her father before his coffin was removed from the church.

The young girl was brought to the altar by another female relative, while the song Daddy's Girl played from the church speakers.

Martin's daughter then embraced her father's coffin, before close relatives and family gathered around to console one another.

Violence

Floral tributes with the words "Uncle", "Father" and "Fiance" were also brought to the altar.

The congregation of around 100 mourners heard how Mr O'Rourke had been through "tragic times" in his 24 years, but that he had been "on the right path".

In his homily during the service, Fr Derek Farrell condemned the recent outbreak of violence in the capital. He quoted Archbishop Diarmuid Martin when he said: "Could the repeated question of an innocent four-year-old child to her grieving mother - 'Where's Daddy?' - fail to touch even such hearts?

"Martin was a young man who had very little in life, really - but he had life and had a loving fiancee, children and friends, only to be so callously and brutally robbed of everything.

"His one and only precious life has been taken. His family and friends' loved one has been taken. His fiancee's husband-to-be has been taken. His children's daddy has been taken.

"Many have said that Martin was at the 'wrong place at wrong time', but in the years ahead it will be important for his children to know that, while he may have been at the wrong place, he was also on the right path.

"It will be important too, to hear and keep the family's memories of the person they knew and loved."

Fr Farrell spoke of how breaking news on TVs and social media screens told the nation of a "shocking, frightening and tragic shooting of an innocent bystander on a Dublin street" on April 14.

The emotional service took place at St Michan's Church, Halston Street, in Dublin yesterday morning before his remains were brought to Fingal Cemetery for burial.

Among those in the congregation were politicians Christy Burke, Janice Boylan and Joe Costello, as well as a number of charity groups and representatives of the Sheriff Street community.

Social campaigner Fr Peter McVerry also took part in the Mass.

The Taoiseach kept a low-key presence before and during the ceremony, and talked with Martin O'Rourke's family and friends after the service was over.

The Mayo politician also invited members of Mr O'Rourke's family to meet him at Dail Eireann next week.

Despite Mr Kenny's presence, which was welcomed by the mourners, there was no representation from the acting Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald or the Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan.

Mr O'Rourke was the fifth victim of the Hutch/Kinahan feud - which appears to show no signs of stopping soon.

The first person to die was Gary Hutch (34), who was shot at a Spanish apartment complex in September.

A revenge attack for Hutch's murder then took place in February of this year, when a hit-squad stormed the Regency Hotel and David Byrne (33) was killed.

Three days later Eddie Hutch (58) was shot dead at his Ballybough home.

In another fatal shooting believed to be ordered by the Kinahan Cartel, a former business associate of Gerry Hutch was killed at his Meath home.

Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan was shot dead as he sat in a car outside his home.

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