Belfast Telegraph

Remains of murdered Irishman flown home

The remains of an Irish holidaymaker murdered in Spain last week were brought home yesterday afternoon.

John O'Neill (41) was shot dead outside a pub in the seaside resort of Benalmadena after trying to defuse a row in the early hours of Wednesday, last week.

The gunman fled the scene and a Spanish judge has issued a European arrest warrant for the 35-year-old Englishman believed to be behind the attack.

Mr O'Neill, a father-of-two from Coolock in Dublin, was on a short holiday in the Costa del Sol.

His family had been waiting since Tuesday to bring his body back to Dublin for burial after delays in the repatriation process.

His remains were brought home by Aer Lingus, with the flight landing in Dublin Airport at approximately 3pm.

An undertaker was on hand to transfer the remains to an awaiting ambulance and it is understood that a further post-mortem will take place in Dublin in the coming days. A family spokesman said that funeral arrangements had not yet been confirmed, but the service is expected to take place early next week.

Mr O'Neill was one of dozens of Irish holidaymakers who had flown to Spain for a wedding.

However, a row broke out in Coco's bar on the Tuesday night of last week and, although Mr O'Neill is believed to have acted as peacemaker, he was shot in the back after the English man returned to the pub later with a pistol.

Mr O'Neill stumbled out into the street and collapsed in a pool of blood where he died despite the efforts of paramedics to save him.

His girlfriend Maxine Sutcliffe suffered a panic attack and was also treated, but was not injured.

Mr O'Neill had worked as a plasterer and is survived by two children, Jake (3) and Jasmine, who is just nine months old.

Belfast Telegraph

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