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Family of murdered Belfast man Kieran Wylie crave justice, priest tells funeral

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The funeral of murder victim Kieran Wylie taking place from his home in Lenadoon in west Belfast

The funeral of murder victim Kieran Wylie taking place from his home in Lenadoon in west Belfast

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of murder victim Kieran Wylie taking place from his home in Lenadoon in west Belfast

Family and friends of a west Belfast man shot dead in front of his two daughters want the murderers put behind bars and those responsible to end their violence, mourners at his funeral were told.

In a service for Kieran Wylie held in an otherwise empty church but broadcast live to the community, Fr Aidan Brankin paid tribute to a loving family man who worked hard all his life.

The 57-year-old was shot dead on May 17 at his home in Lenadoon.

Dissident republicans are suspected of carrying out the execution, with reports suggesting he had been accused of being an informer.

Despite social distancing rules, mourners packed together for a prayer vigil outside the family home, where he lived since his marriage to his wife Deirdre more than three decades ago and where he brought up his three daughters.

Mourners also gathered together to pay their respects as the funeral cortege passed along the street.

Fr Brankin, in his sermon, linked the "goodness and care" shown by so many in a changed world brought about by the coronavirus to those that carried out the murder of Mr Wylie.

Over the past eight days, the priest said, many people have spoken to him about wanting to see his murderers behind bars, and then it is "time for these groups to leave the scene".

"There is no place for them in this new world," Fr Brankin said, adding that they are "not wanted or needed".

Mr Wylie was shot dead in front of two of his children, aged 16 and 28.

Neighbours tried in vain to save his life.

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The funeral of murder victim Kieran Wylie taking place from his home in Lenadoon in west Belfast

The funeral of murder victim Kieran Wylie taking place from his home in Lenadoon in west Belfast

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of murder victim Kieran Wylie taking place from his home in Lenadoon in west Belfast

Mr Wylie, one of nine children, grew up in Turf Lodge but moved to Lenadoon when he married Deirdre, whom he met when they both worked for a DIY retailer.

For most of his life he worked as a joiner.

It was his favourite job, and he was known to be meticulous which meant he was never idle, said Fr Brankin.

In later life medical issues, including heart surgery and carpal tunnel syndrome, left him unable to work full-time.

Fr Brankin also remembered a man who had a "special affinity" with young people with disabilities.

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The funeral of murder victim Kieran Wylie taking place from his home in Lenadoon in west Belfast

The funeral of murder victim Kieran Wylie taking place from his home in Lenadoon in west Belfast

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of murder victim Kieran Wylie taking place from his home in Lenadoon in west Belfast

A member of the Order of Malta and a first aider, Mr Wylie was part of a team of people who went on an annual pilgrimage to Lourdes with disabled children.

Most of all, Fr Brankin said, Mr Wylie was "so proud of his own three daughters, they truly were his life".

"That is until his two granddaughters, Maddison and Maya, were born. They were at his house every single day," Fr Brankin added.

"If his five girls were happy, he was happy," the priest added of a man known in the community as both witty and loyal.

Kieran Wylie

Following Mr Wylie's murder many in the community have rallied around in support of the bereaved family.

A large banner declaring 'Justice for the Wylie Family' was placed in front of the house.

Two men forced their way into the house and shot him several times at close range.

The dead man was previously a member of the Provisional IRA but was also linked in more recent years to Oglaigh na nEireann, a dissident organisation, according to reports. Police said Mr Wylie was known to them "in relation to a threat" from "a grouping of violent dissident republicans", The Irish News reported.

Belfast Telegraph