Belfast Telegraph

Glenarm farm shooting family still in shock as dad laid to rest

BY CHRIS KILPATRICK

THE family of a father-of-four believed to have shot dead his friend before turning the gun on himself is struggling with "shock, pain and confusion", mourners at his funeral were told.

The bodies of Michael Murphy and Arthur Gibson, were discovered at Mr Gibson's farm on Friday.

Both had sustained fatal shotgun wounds.

Police are not looking for anybody else in connection with the deaths.

There was a huge turnout for the funeral of 37-year-old Mr Murphy which took place at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Glenarm yesterday.

Parish priest Fr Dermot McKay told mourners the grey skies above Glenarm mirrored the mood which had descended across the small coastal village in the wake of the deaths.

Mourners heard Mr Murphy was born in Larne before moving to Glenarm to start a new life with his partner Jenny and four children.

Fr McKay said Mr Murphy met Arthur Gibson shortly after relocating to the village and began to work for him on his farm as a labourer.

"Mickey was a dedicated family man, totally dedicated to Jenny and their family," said Fr McKay during the funeral Mass.

"At the same time he was a conscientious worker, often working seven days a week.

"The farmer work ethic was ingrained in him from an early age. "That work ethic stayed with him until the end.

"He was a down-to-earth individual; fun loving and committed to family and work.

"We are all reeling from a tragic incident. We can't fully take in the reality of Mickey's death that evening," he said.

Following the funeral service, Mr Murphy was buried in Glenarm New Cemetery.

The funeral of Arthur Gibson (61) will take place in the same church today.

The tight-knit community in Glenarm has been left stunned by the events of Friday.

Local people have been milking the cows at the dairy farm on the Feystown Road since Mr Gibson's death.

The respected farmer lived alone, had no children and had lived there all his life.

On Sunday afternoon police said post-mortems had been carried out on both men and attributed their deaths to shotgun blasts.

The property was subsequently burgled some time between 3pm on Sunday and 7.30am on Monday.

BACKGROUND

The bodies of farmer Arthur Gibson (61) and farm labourer Michael Murphy (37) were discovered with gunshot wounds in a property near the village of Glenarm, Co Antrim, on Friday night. It is understood Mr Murphy shot Mr Gibson before turning the gun on himself.

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