Northern Ireland

Comedian Patrick Kielty recalls father's brutal murder

Patrick Kielty appeared on the Late Late Show on Friday. Picture by RTÉ
Patrick Kielty appeared on the Late Late Show on Friday. Picture by RTÉ

COMEDIAN Patrick Kielty has told of how he passed the house where his father's killers were hiding following the murder.

The Co Down entertainer also recalled being called into the headmaster’s office at his school in Dundrum to be told the news.

Appearing on RTÉ's Late Late Show on Friday, Kielty said "with the passing of time, you get a weird clarity to the whole thing".

"I was in school, and I was called to the headmaster’s office, I was putting up Comic Relief posters and I hadn't asked the headmaster could I do it,"he said.

"I thought Brother Fergus was going to sort me out for that. I remember going into the office and Brian Cunningham, my dad's best friend, was sitting there. I could see something was up.

"They said my dad had been shot and I automatically said 'Is he dead?' and straight away they said 'Yes'.

"That drive home, we passed the house where the killers, who shot him, were hiding. They didn't go straight back to Belfast, there was a local house and local people were involved."

His father was shot dead by the UDA in January 1988 when he was 44 and Kielty was just 16.

The comedian, a father-of-two, said his father was a target for several reasons.

"My dad was a building contractor. We subsequently found out in later years that he wasn't going to pay his protection money and he was going to give evidence in a trial, but that trial collapsed," he said.

"So, he was a dead man walking from then. He was also the chairman of the Gaelic club, and he was a prominent Catholic in the area.

He added: "For a long time, I didn't want to talk that much about it on the basis that everyone has gone through it up north, everybody has had a touch," he said.

"As time goes on and you process it, it is good to talk about these things. When you tell your story that means other people might tell their story."