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Dublin feud murder suspect laid to rest in low-key funeral in Co Tyrone

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The funeral of Kevin Murray took place in Strabane at the weekend

The funeral of Kevin Murray took place in Strabane at the weekend

The funeral of Kevin Murray took place in Strabane at the weekend

The funeral of Kevin Murray took place in Strabane at the weekend

Kevin Murray

Kevin Murray

The funeral of Kevin Murray took place in Strabane at the weekend

The suspected republican gunman in a Dublin murder that ramped up a deadly feud between members of two rival criminal gangs has been laid to rest in his native Strabane.

Kevin Murray, who became known as 'Flat Cap' after photographs appeared of him fleeing the scene of the shooting, was buried on Saturday in a low-key ceremony.

He died at his Co Tyrone home last Wednesday with his daughter by his side after battling motor neurone disease.

A cluster of men in white shirts and black ties walked behind his coffin as it made its way to the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

In the hearse was a wreath from vigilante group Republican Action Against Drugs, in which the 47-year-old was involved.

The green and white 'RAAD' floral display was visible alongside an orange wreath with the word 'Dad' next to Murray's coffin.

Around 300 people attended the funeral Mass on Saturday morning, where Murray was described as having faced his illness "bravely".

Parish priest Fr Declan Boland also told mourners in the church that the father-of-two, like many in the nationalist town, had been "caught in a vortex of (Troubles) upheaval".

"During our lives we make many decisions, some good, some bad, some indifferent, and in this regard Kevin was no different than the rest of us," he said. Following the service Murray's coffin was carried out of the church by a number of men - including his son and brother - for interment in nearby Strabane cemetery.

A small number of former republican inmates, who had served time with Murray in the the Maze Prison, watched on as the coffin was lowered into the ground.

High-profile republicans notably stayed away from the funeral, with the cortege made up mainly of family and friends.

Murray had lived alone in Townsend Street in the Co Tyrone town.

He had been housebound as the disease took a grip on him.

In May attempts to extradite him over his alleged role in the Dublin gangland murder of David Byrne were halted at Belfast Recorder's Court due to Murray being diagnosed with the terminal condition.

Byrne (34), from Crumlin in Dublin, was shot dead at a boxing weigh-in at the city's Regency Hotel in February 2016 by gunmen dressed as Garda SWAT officers.

The killing, the third in the feud between the rival Kinahan and Hutch gangs that broke out in September 2015, led to an escalation in the bloodletting.

To date 12 people have been murdered.

Two were killed in Spain and the other 10 in the Republic.

Belfast Telegraph