Northern Ireland news

Son of murder victim Kevin Kearney dies in north Belfast crash

Crash victim Kevin Kearney
Andrew Madden and Claire Simpson

A SON of dissident murder victim Kevin Kearney has died after his sports car crashed on a busy road in north Belfast.

The victim, who was in his twenties and also called Kevin Kearney, was driving a Toyota Supra which hit a tree on York Road at around 11.40am yesterday.

No passengers were in the car at the time.

Mr Kearney's car was thought to have travelled down Limestone Road and turned left onto York Road, where it collided with a street sign before hitting the tree.

The Fire Service said two crews attended the scene, at the junction of Limestone Road, and had to use cutting equipment to free Mr Kearney.

It is believed Mr Kearney had three children, including a son who was born last year.

He was brought to the Royal Victoria Hospital for treatment but later died.

York Road was cordoned off between Brougham Street and North Queen Street for most of yesterday, causing significant traffic problems.

SDLP councillor Paul McCusker said Mr Kearney was a "very popular young man, very well known in the Oldpark area".

"My sympathies are with his family. North Belfast is just numb at this news, particularly at this time of year in the run-up to Christmas," he said.

Ulster Unionist councillor David Browne also said he was stunned to hear of the fatal crash.

"It's a tragedy and my sympathies and thoughts are with his family," he said.

"It does show that when people have been talking about reducing speed limits to 20mph you can see why."

Friends of Mr Kearney paid tribute to him on social media. One said he was "heartbroken" by the death, while another said he was a "lovely person".

Kevin Kearney jnr carrying his father Kevin's coffin following his murder in 2013. Picture by Mark Marlow

His father Kevin (46) was murdered in north Belfast in October 2013.

His body was found in Alexandra Park, close to Limestone Road.

The dissident republican group calling itself the 'IRA' later claimed responsibility.

The father-of-four, who was known to police, was alleged to be a drug dealer - a claim his partner strongly denied.

Police appealed to anyone with information about yesterday's crash to contact them on 101.

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Northern Ireland news