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Belfast crash victim Kevin Kearney funeral hears 'smile would brighten any room'

Published 15/11/2016

Family and friends during the funeral of Kevin Kearney which took place at Holy Family Church in North Belfast.
Picture Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker
Family and friends during the funeral of Kevin Kearney which took place at Holy Family Church in North Belfast. Picture Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker
Funeral of Kevin Kearney at the Holy Family Church on the Limestone Road in north Belfast. The 27-year-old died after a one vehicle RTC on the York Road in Belfast last week. Picture by William Cherry/Press Eye.
Family and friends during the funeral of Kevin Kearney which took place at Holy Family Church in North Belfast. Picture Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker
Family and friends during the funeral of Kevin Kearney which took place at Holy Family Church in North Belfast. Picture Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker
Funeral of Kevin Kearney at the Holy Family Church on the Limestone Road in north Belfast. The 27-year-old died after a one vehicle RTC on the York Road in Belfast last week. Picture by William Cherry/Press Eye.
Family and friends during the funeral of Kevin Kearney which took place at Holy Family Church in North Belfast. Picture Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker
Funeral of Kevin Kearney at the Holy Family Church on the Limestone Road in north Belfast. The 27-year-old died after a one vehicle RTC on the York Road in Belfast last week. Picture by William Cherry/Press Eye.
Funeral of Kevin Kearney at the Holy Family Church on the Limestone Road in north Belfast. The 27-year-old died after a one vehicle RTC on the York Road in Belfast last week. Picture by William Cherry/Press Eye.
Funeral of Kevin Kearney at the Holy Family Church on the Limestone Road in north Belfast. The 27-year-old died after a one vehicle RTC on the York Road in Belfast last week. Picture by William Cherry/Press Eye.
Funeral of Kevin Kearney at the Holy Family Church on the Limestone Road in north Belfast. The 27-year-old died after a one vehicle RTC on the York Road in Belfast last week. Picture by William Cherry/Press Eye.
Funeral of Kevin Kearney at the Holy Family Church on the Limestone Road in north Belfast. The 27-year-old died after a one vehicle RTC on the York Road in Belfast last week. Picture by William Cherry/Press Eye.
Funeral of Kevin Kearney at the Holy Family Church on the Limestone Road in north Belfast. The 27-year-old died after a one vehicle RTC on the York Road in Belfast last week. Picture by William Cherry/Press Eye.

The funeral of a man who died in a road crash in Belfast has heard how his smile would brighten any room.

Kevin Kearney-McMillan (27) died when his silver Toyota Supra careered off the road on York Street in Belfast close to its junction with the Limestone Road before hitting a tree.

The north Belfast man had recently become a father again.

Rescue teams cut him from his wrecked vehicle and he was rushed to the Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital, but later died.

The funeral took place at Holy Family Church in north Belfast followed by burial in Milltwon Cemetery on Tuesday.

Mourners heard that Kevin was a "loving and caring son" from an early age and whose smile would "brighten any room".

Father Paul Morely told the congregation: "Kevin loved his family Katie, Corey and baby Kevin Jr. They always came first with him and he regularly planned day trips and weekends away for them.

"Kevin loved being around his family and friends. Kevin was always full of fun and the life and soul of every social gathering, a real joker always full of craic and making everyone laugh.

"Kevin was very famous for his love of shopping whether it was the latest style in Hugo Boss or cars as Toyota Supra.

"Kevin loved to take his Mum to town, treating her to lunch and to pick treats for Katie and the boys.

Kevin Kearney-McMillan
Kevin Kearney-McMillan
A tribute at the scene of the crash

"Kevin came from a very close knit family both McMillan /Kearney and Roberto were always there for him."

The congregation heard how difficult it had been when his father, also Kevin, was killed. He was murdered in north Belfast in 2013.

"Kevin lost his father three years ago and he found it very hard, his uncle Martin then became his rock. Martin was a huge influence from an early age as throughout his adult life," the priest continued.

"Kevin enjoyed life to the fullest and his smile would always brighten a dark room.

"He will be sorely missed but his memory will live on as he touched so many."

His heartbroken mother Jeanette spoke of her sorrow in a death notice, saying that she has lost her only son, who had a "heart of gold".

"We will miss your wit, wisdom, kindness and compassion, and most of all son, your presence in our lives," she said.

Mr Kearney-McMillan's partner Katie added: "Where do I begin, you were the love of my life, left too soon, my love for you went beyond the moon, stay close to me and the boys Kevin, we love and miss you so much, you were the heart and soul of our family, love you so much, your Katie and boys."

His grandmother Maureen McMillan expressed her devastation in another heartrending death notice.

"Your smile has gone forever, and your hands we can never touch, we have so many memories we all love you so much," she said.

Many friends have expressed solidarity with the family.

Flowers and notes have been left at the site of the road crash.

It is the second devastating tragedy for the family.

Mr Kearney-McMillan's father was killed by the dissident republican group which calls itself "the IRA" in October 2013 in what police at the time termed as a "callous and cold-blooded murder".

His body was found in a lake in Alexandra Park. He had been shot.

The 46-year-old father-of-four had left his daughter off at school and returned home to take his dogs for a walk in Alexandra Park.

Mr Kearney's brother Martin spoke out at that time and said the murder had "torn us apart".

"He lived for his children. He spent almost every hour with his children. It has torn the family apart. It has been a very emotional week. We're just devastated," he said.

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