Belfast Telegraph

Daniel McAnaspie funeral in Finglas

State neglect and an under-funded childcare system were key factors in the death of murdered teenager Daniel McAnaspie, his funeral mass heard.

The body of the 17-year-old, who was in Health Service Executive (HSE) care, was found dumped in a ditch on farmland at Rathfeigh in Co Meath on May 13, almost three months after his disappearance.

Several hundred relatives and friends filed into the Church of the Annunciation in Finglas, west Dublin to pay a final farewell to the tragic youth, who had been socialising with a group of people in nearby Blanchardstown on the night he vanished.

In a strongly worded eulogy, Fr Peter McVerry said despite the interventions of concerned social workers, the childcare system could not protect Daniel.

"The failure of a dysfunctional and under-resourced childcare system to provide Daniel with a safe and secure place to live, where his needs could be addressed by the social and health system resulted in his early death."

Daniel's siblings have criticised the care given to him by the State after their parents Leo and Martina died, leaving six youngsters behind.

Fr McVerry, who has been working with the capital's young homeless for more than 30 years, called for new management, new vision and more than a thousand extra social workers to bring standards up to the same level existing across the border.

A post-mortem examination showed Daniel had been stabbed to death.

At Daniel's funeral his relatives recalled through their tears happy memories of a caring boy who always made people laugh and applause rippled through the quiet church after Daniel's sister Nikita pledged to find justice for her murdered brother.

"Things will never be the same without you," she added.

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