Thursday 14 December 2017

Tears for a gangster as city is locked down for funeral

Bikers lead the funeral cortege of murdered David Byrne
Bikers lead the funeral cortege of murdered David Byrne
Liam Byrne, brother of David Byrne breaks down as he carries his coffin
‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson at the funeral
A Smirnoff Vodka and Miwadi floral tributes at the funeral of David Byrne
A boxing ring floral tribute

Dublin's south city was in a security lockdown yesterday for the gangland funeral of David Byrne.

Hardened mobster Liam Byrne broke down in tears as he carried his brother's remains from the Church of St Nicholas of Myra yesterday afternoon.

Dad-of-two David (34) was blasted to death at The Regency Hotel 11 days ago in a crime that shocked the nation.

Yesterday, drug lord Christy Kinahan Snr's two sons Christy jnr and Daniel both paid their respects at the tense funeral.

Crime figures 'Fat' Freddie Thompson and Liam Roe, wearing navy suits, blue shirts and blue ties, took turns to carry the silver coffin.


Sean McGovern, who was also shot at the hotel by thugs carrying AK47s and handguns, was another pallbearer at the funeral.

The 30-year-old received a gunshot wound to the stomach, but was able to discharge himself from the Mater Hospital later that evening.

From early yesterday morning there was a heavy garda presence on Francis Street and through to Mount Jerome cemetery in Harold's Cross amid fears of another attack.

Uniformed gardai along with the armed Emergency Response Unit (ERU), Armed Support Unit and undercover officers flanked the streets ahead of the 12.30pm funeral. Just after midday, the lengthy cortege of two hearses and 10 black Mercedes stretch limousines made its way from the Byrne family home in Raleigh Square, Crumlin towards the south inner city under the watchful eye of the garda helicopter.

Mourners filled the streets as a lone piper led the funeral cortege through Carman's Hall to Francis Street.

In his homily, Fr Niall Coghlan said the assassination of the dad-of-two at the Regency Hotel last week was senseless, but called for peace between both sides.

"It strikes me... that it doesn't take much courage to attack a defenceless person with weapons of destruction. What courage is there to walk into a hotel and blast a man to death when he cannot defend himself or to walk into a man's home and do the same thing? It is not courageous," Fr Coghlan said.

"What is courageous is someone willing to put their head above the parapet and call for an end to this despicable destruction of human life.

"You might be a lonely voice in your own world, but for the people of Dublin's north and south inner cities who had suffered greatly at your hands... you will be a hero because you will bring peace again to our beautiful capital city and an end to the policy of violent death, revenge, and tit for tat.

"Hatred destroys not just the hated but the hater. It objectifies another and enforces self-loathing."

"Hate is nobody's friend."

As the funeral drew to a close, three horse-drawn carts arrived in the street with floral tributes spelling out 'best pal', 'cuz', and 'son'.

Some of the more elaborate displays included Smirnoff vodka, a bottle of MiWadi blackcurrent concentrate and a remote control car covered in blue flowers complete with a photo of Byrne in the driving seat.

As the hearse left the church mourners followed it down Francis Street and then doubled-back to their waiting limousines.


Gardai blocked the road at the busy junction between The Coombe and Clanbrassil Street, and the cortege then drove through slowly with two ERU vehicles following closely.

The cars made their way to Mount Jerome cemetery in Harold's Cross.

Sources told the Herald how Liam Byrne paid a staggering €60,000 for four grave plots in recent days.

It is believed that his brother's €18,000 coffin will take up at least two plots.

Armed members of the ERU manned checkpoints in Tallaght last night as family, friends and associates of David Byrne mourned his passing at a private function in a pub.

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