Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Priest's plea for no revenge as family buries murdered pizza delivery man Kieran McManus

Funeral of Kieran McManus who was shot dead in west Belfast
Funeral of Kieran McManus who was shot dead in west Belfast

A priest has pleaded for no retaliatory attacks by friends of a man shot dead in west Belfast.

Kieran McManus (26), a delivery driver, was gunned down in front of his teenage brother Christopher (16) as he walked towards his car outside a pizza takeaway in Kennedy Way on Saturday night.

Relatives believe he was shot as part of a vendetta after his family fled their home three years ago. A car belonging to Mr McManus was burned out in February.

Fr Brendan Smyth told mourners at Requiem Mass at Holy Trinity Church in the city's Turf Lodge area, where Mr McManus lived before moving to Crumlin, that it was understandable for emotions to run high among friends seeking retribution.

He said: "All I can say and plead for Kieran's death to be the end, the line drawn under these sad days. Nothing will bring Kieran back, nor should, by what we may say, or what we may do may only add to the heaviness of heart, or add to the burden that has been forced upon the shoulders of Kieran's family."

His mother Sally, four brothers and two sisters were among the mourners. Mr McManus had a five-year-old son.

Fr Smith added: "Revenge or retribution is a nasty word and a road that will lead to added heartache. For those who may contemplate such a road, I beg you don't. For it is a road that you will force Sally, young Kieran, and Joseph, Patrick, Michael, Christopher, Bernadette and Michaela, and all his family, I think that they have suffered enough."

Mr McManus was later buried in Milltown Cemetery, Belfast. The victim, a father of one who was known to police, was hit a number of times as he chatted with friends on Saturday night. He had been working as a delivery driver at the Domino's Pizza establishment on Kennedy Way when he was shot.

He had previously faced attempted murder charges over his role in an attack on another man in west Belfast.

Police have described the killing as brutal and said they are keeping an open mind about the motive. Last night they released a 34-year-old man they were questioning over Mr McManus' murder.

The young man was laid to rest a day after his mother branded the killers as cowards. She said the gunman had torn the heart out of her family.

"I would really love to meet the one that pulled that trigger. It was real big of them shooting him in the back. It has just ripped the heart out of us."

She also said she didn't know how she was going to get through her trauma "until these people are brought to justice". Mrs McManus has appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

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