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Thursday 22 August 2019

'Drugs make you into a corpse' - priest at funeral of gun victim

Jordan Davis’s remains are taken to his funeral in the Church of Our Lady Immaculate in Darndale
Jordan Davis’s remains are taken to his funeral in the Church of Our Lady Immaculate in Darndale

Drug dealers are "gravediggers with the stench of death", a priest has told mourners at the funeral of one of Dublin's latest gangland murder victims.

In a strongly worded homily at the funeral in Darndale of Jordan Davis (22), who was gunned down on May 22 while pushing his baby son in a buggy, Fr Leo Philomin said the victim was a young man who lived a life that was filled with anxiety and self-doubt, and whose life choices ultimately led him "literally into a dead end".

Father-of-one Davis was murdered the day after his friend Sean Little (22) was shot dead in Walshestown in north Co Dublin. Minutes before being shot, Davis had posted a tribute to Little on Facebook.

His killing is believed to be drug-related and was possibly linked to an unpaid drugs debt, though gardai are keeping an open mind.

Both men were also friends of drug dealer Zach Parker (23), who was shot dead at Applewood in Swords on January 17.

They were also known to Hamid Sanambar (40), who was shot dead in the driveway of Little's family home in Coolock on May 28.

There was a garda presence at the Church of Our Lady Immaculate in Darndale for the funeral mass yesterday morning, just yards from the pathway where Davis was targeted by a gunman, who spoke with him briefly before shooting him dead and escaping on a bicycle later found abandoned in nearby Belcamp.

Gravediggers

Addressing the mourners, Fr Philomin urged the community to turn its back on crime and drugs.

"There is an evil that destroys lives, relationships and homes. Drugs. Drug trafficking and all that goes with it is not glamorous," he said.

"We don't need to look further than why we are here. Just look around. I see a mother grieving. I see friends weeping.

"Drugs don't make you king. Drugs makes you into a corpse. And those who sell and buy and sell again are the gravediggers with the stench of death.

"You become a slave to a lifestyle that makes you have to always look over your shoulder and wonder if you are the next target.

"It is not only I that urge you, but your families, your community, the people who love and care for you. They beg you to stop living the aimless kind of life, to not let your sense of right and wrong be dulled, but to make choices that give life."

Speaking about Davis, Fr Philomin said he was a young man who lived a life filled with anxiety and self doubt.

"We come to remember a man whose life choices ultimately led him literally into a dead end," he said.

"We come to pray for a man whom God had brought into this world. And to whom we believe that we all return.

"We return to God having lived our lives well. For some, that 'well-lived life' is lived easily and without much chaos or fuss. For many, that 'well-lived life' is complex, full of anxiety and uncertainty, but often sure-footed.

"But for a few, that 'well-lived life' is chaotic, filled with shadows and twists and turns.

Bravado

"Jordan lived a life that was filled with anxiety and self-doubt. His outer bravado hid deep down the insecurity and panic he often felt. But he wasn't able to express it, so he overcame it by the stance he took in life - the hard man.

"Trouble followed him, and often he created his own troubles."

He also spoke of the "horrifying" manner in which the gunman had no regard for life when he shot Davis dead.

"What makes it horrifying for all is that the killer had no regard or care for who... else could have been hurt. There was a baby in a buggy. There was a mother with her child," he said.

At the end of the mass, a poem from his mother was read by her friend Jessica Morgan.

"My gentle giant had a heart of gold, follow Jade's hand as she takes you home," she said.

Armed gardai patrolled the area in the lead-up to the funeral. Davis is survived by his mother Sandra, stepfather Peter, brother Leon, sisters Alannah, Abbey and Sophia, girlfriend Lucy, and son Arlo Jamie.

After the funeral mass, his body was brought to Fingal cemetery by horse-drawn hearse, where he was buried with his sister Jade, who died as a baby.

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