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Priest calls for end to Dublin feud as murdered gangster laid to rest

By Adam Cullen

Published 16/02/2016

The coffin of David Byrne is carried to the church of St Nicholas of Myra on Francis Street in Dublin
The coffin of David Byrne is carried to the church of St Nicholas of Myra on Francis Street in Dublin
A floral tribute with a photograph of the victim
Motorcyclists lead the cortege to the church

The funeral cortege of murdered gangland figure David Byrne in Dublin yesterday was led by three members of the infamous Chosen Few biker gang.

Byrne was gunned down at the Regency Hotel 11 days ago when five heavily-armed hitmen stormed the building and shot the drug dealer dead.

He was the latest victim of a bloody feud between two major criminal gangs in Dublin's underworld.

Byrne had expensive tastes and lived lavishly, splashing millions of his ill-gotten gains on expensive cars and motorbikes.

The city was on lockdown as the procession snaked its way from Byrne's home in Crumlin to the Francis Street Chapel in Dublin's Liberties district.

Hundreds of mourners stood sombre as they waited for the platinum €18,000 (£14,000) coffin to be hoisted from one of the two black Mercedes hearses accompanied by the strains of a lone piper.

The funeral is estimated to have cost €65,000 (£50,000).

Scores of gardai, some heavily armed, looked on.

The drone of a Garda helicopter settled above as some of Ireland's most notorious criminals emerged from 11 dazzling black limos past balaclava-clad armed gardai from the elite ERU unit.

The funeral will go down in history as being a 'who's who' of the Irish criminal underworld.

The sons of Ireland's most feared mob boss Christy Kinahan were among the chief mourners.

They were joined by members of the Byrne crime family dynasty including David's father James 'Jaws' Byrne, his brother Liam Byrne, and cousins 'Fat' Freddie Thompson and Liam Roe who all had a turn at carrying the coffin.

Inside the small chapel in the Liberties, chief celebrant Fr Niall Coghlan called on the gangsters gathered to end the bitter feud between the Kinahan cartel and Hutch mob that has so far claimed the lives of David Byrne and Eddie Hutch Snr.

He called for a "hero" to stick his head above the parapet in order to quell the deadly violence.

"It strikes me that it doesn't take much courage to attack a defenceless person with weapons of destruction," he said.

"What courage is there to walk into a hotel and blast a man to death when he cannot defend himself or to walk into a man's home and do the same thing. It is not courageous.

"What is courageous is someone willing to put their head above the parapet and call for an end to this despicable destruction of human life.

"You might be a lonely voice in your own world but for the people of Dublin's north and south inner city who had suffered greatly at your hands and not just by the recent violence, the wonderful people of our city, you will be a hero because you will bring peace again to our beautiful capital city and an end to the policy of violent death, revenge, and tit-for-tat."

Belfast Telegraph

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