Northern Ireland news

Low-key funeral for Regency Hotel shooting suspect Kevin 'Flat Cap' Murray

There were no paramilitary trappings at the funeral but the hearse contained a floral tribute spelling out "RAAD". Picture by Pacemaker Press
Andrew Madden

MOURNERS at the funeral of Regency Hotel shooting suspect Kevin Murray were told that he fought "for his country, what he believed in, and what he thought was right".

More than 300 people attended the funeral on Saturday at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in his home town of Strabane, where there was a discreet police presence.

Murray died on Wednesday at his home following a year-long battle with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

The Co Tyrone man had been wanted in the Republic in connection with the murder of David Byrne (33) at Dublin's Regency Hotel in February 2016.

He earned the nickname "Flat Cap" in the media after being photographed fleeing the scene wearing an old-style cap.

The shooting ignited a deadly feud between the rival Kinahan and Hutch criminal gangs, which has so far claimed almost a dozen lives.

The victims included Mickey Barr, also originally from Strabane, who was shot in the head in a Dublin pub in April last year.

Barr was given a republican funeral in the Co Tyrone town with paramilitary trappings and police later arrested 15 men in connection with the display.

In May, attempts to extradite Murray were halted in court in Belfast due to his medical condition.

A former republican prisoner who had served time in the Maze, he had become associated with the vigilante group Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) in recent years.

There were no paramilitary trappings at his funeral, but the hearse did contain a floral tribute spelling out "RAAD".

A small number of men who had served time in prison with the 47-year-old attended.

Speaking at the funeral, his niece Cody described him as a "fighter".

"Kevin fought hard his whole life. First as a boxer in his youth, then later, throughout his life, for his country, for what he believed in and what he thought was right," she said.

"He wasn't afraid to stand up for his beliefs. But Kevin was never alone, not with a family like ours standing beside him. Kevin faced Motor Neurone Disease with the very same fight.

"Kevin leaves behind many broken hearts and our family chain has been broken and we will never be the same again. But we have Kevin in the sky to protect us."

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