Belfast Telegraph

GAA star's killer laid to rest

By Mark Hilliard

The man who murdered a GAA star before taking his own life was yesterday mourned as a victim of his own crime.

Shane Rogers (32) was laid to rest in his hometown of Inniskeen, Co Monaghan, just over two weeks after shooting dead father-of-three James Hughes (35) in the back of a Dundalk taxi.

"We must not judge Shane on one single, terrible act. Shane was much more than that," parish priest Fr Martin Treanor told those gathered for the funeral Mass at the Church of Mary, Mother of Mercy. "We cannot in any way excuse Shane's actions but he too became a victim, as he was unable to live with himself."

Rogers hanged himself in Cloverhill Prison just nine days after killing Crossmaglen Rangers star Mr Hughes.

He had earlier spotted the south Armagh man in a nightclub with his ex-girlfriend, Trish Byrne.

Mr Rogers handed himself in to gardai hours after the incident and was considered a suicide risk. Two investigations are under way into his death in custody.

Yesterday his community remembered him as a very different type of character.

"The tragic death of Shane has caused darkness to descend on his family and on this community," Fr Treanor said.

"Shane's death brings to a close two terrible weeks for all of the families involved. Today does not end the pain. Too many lives have been turned upside down."

He was buried in the local St Mary's Cemetery.

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