Devastated family, friends and members of the public gathered on Monday to pay tribute to father-of-four Kevin Kearney, who was murdered in north Belfast last week.
Mr Kearney’s body was recovered from a lake in Alexandra Park last Wednesday after he was shot in broad daylight. He had returned from dropping his daughter at school and had taken the dogs for a walk in the close-by public park.
But when his two dogs returned to his home on Dunmore Road without him, his family raised the alarm.
A recently formed paramilitary group calling itself “the IRA” have claimed to be the perpetrators behind the killing.
The funeral mass of the 46-year-old was held in Holy Family Church on Limestone Road on Monday morning, where mourners heard that Mr Kearney had loved and lived for his children.
Father Paul Strain: “Many words have been said about Kevin good and bad, true and not so true. Ultimately the only word that really matters is the final word of God.”
“His family knew and experienced the goodness and love of Kevin – growing up in Ardoyne with the early death of dad and loving care of mum Rosaleen and the holidays fishing or hunting for whelks in Ballyhornan or wherever; brothers and sister happy to claim him as a good brother who loved and lived for his children Kevin and Nicole, Jess and Amy.”
Father Strain described Kevin as a “man who would do anything for you".
Meanwhile, a 45-year-old man has been arrested by detectives investigating Mr Kearney’s murder.
A group calling itself the new IRA issued a claim of responsibility for his death which came just 24 hours before 35-year-old Barry McCrory was gunned down in Londonderry.
Both victims were known to police for previous offending.