Belfast Telegraph

Emotional scenes as twin helps to carry coffin of murdered man Kyle Neil

By Adrian Rutherford

A heartbroken twin helped carry the coffin of his murdered brother amid emotional scenes at his funeral.

Hundreds of mourners turned out to pay their respects to stab victim Kyle Neil.

The 23-year-old father died after a frenzied knife attack following a barbecue in Comber, Co Down, last weekend.

His body was found in the boot of a car in south Belfast.

Mr Neil's funeral took place at the home of his grandmother, Debbie Houston, on the Crumlin Road in the north of the city on Saturday.

Rev Norman Hamilton, who knows the family, conducted the service. In his address he described Mr Neil's murder as "utterly, utterly reprehensible".

Rev Hamilton recalled how he was a minister of the local church when Kyle and his twin brother Irwin were born.

"I knew the boys from their earliest days," he said. "Indeed the other night Debbie was showing me the certificate given to Kyle when he was just a wee nipper in our Boys' Brigade company, to celebrate 10 achievements as an Anchor Boy in the BB.

"This is a family that has had to face so much over many, many years and in which I have been privileged to share."

Irwin helped carry the coffin of his twin, who he has described as his "friend, brother and rock". Rev Hamilton told mourners there was more to Mr Neil's life than the horrors of the last week. He said Mr Neil's 15-month-old daughter Sophie was "his sweetheart and his princess".

"It's near impossible to know what she will understand about her father's death when Kirsty is trying to explain things to her in years to come," he added. "Many of you will be able to tell of some of those happier times and I want to encourage you to share them with the family as they start the long, long journey of trying to come to terms with Kyle's death - and that's a journey that will never end. We are almost literally at our wits' end."

Rev Hamilton touched on the many tributes to Mr Neil online.

"No tribute perhaps is more poignant than that of his twin brother Irwin, who described Kyle to me as his best friend, his brother and his rock," he added.

Mr Neil was buried in Antrim beside his grandfather Dennis Houston. He leaves his daughter Sophie, fiancee Kirsty, brother Irwin, mum Andrea Neil and grandmother Debbie Houston.

Last week, Wesley Harry Vance, of Mill Street, Comber, was accused of murdering Mr Neil. Stephanie Todd (25), of Claremont Street, Belfast, has been charged with assisting an offender and driving under the influence of alcohol. She denies the offences and was released on bail.

Belfast Telegraph


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