Belfast Telegraph

Dissident gang behind Belfast park murder of Kevin Kearney branded 'demons' by victim's brother

BY CHRIS KILPATRICK

The dissident republican killers of a father-of-four are "demons" who have destroyed the lives of his family, the victim's brother has said.

Kevin Kearney was murdered in broad daylight as he walked his dogs through a north Belfast park.

He was shot in Alexandra Park off the Antrim Road on Tuesday of last week, shortly after he had dropped his daughter off at school.

A reconstruction of Mr Kearney's last known movements took place yesterday as relatives and detectives urged anybody with information regarding the murder to come forward.

The 46-year-old's older brother, Martin (48), said the family was shattered by the brutal execution.

"Kevin was fun-loving, happy and loved sports," he said.

"He was very athletic and would have run over 100 miles-a-week. He loved training; loved his children and loved his animals. He loved life. He was happy-go-lucky.

"He just loved his family and children and spent every hour he could with his children. They are destroyed, just devastated.

"They loved Kevin and the family will not be the same without him. These people have destroyed our lives."

A dissident republican group calling itself 'the IRA' said it killed Mr Kearney in the park close to his Dunmore Avenue home.

The group, which was also responsible for the murder of prison officer David Black last year, claimed Mr Kearney was a drug dealer.

Police confirmed he was known to them for previous offending and said a drugs link was one line of inquiry.

Friends of Mr Kearney claimed dissident republicans are taxing drug dealers. They said he was murdered for refusing to pay the IRA extortion money.

Martin Kearney said despite any of the allegations made against his brother he did not deserve to die.

"Kevin wasn't an angel but for all the faults of the British justice system it is a better system to be brought through the courts (and) have a fair trial than to have someone step out of a bush and execute you," said Mr Kearney who described the gunmen as "lower than animals".

He begged anybody with information which could bring the killers to justice to come forward.

"If they can't talk to the police about it talk to Sinn Fein about it and have these evil people brought before the courts," he said.

"They have destroyed our whole family. They have left four children without a father and they are just demons. They are not fit to be in society."

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"The family is just devastated. These people have just destroyed a whole family. They have left four children without a father and they are just demons. They are not fit to be in society."

Martin Kearney, brother of Kevin

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