Northern Ireland

Murder victim Shane Whitla will be 'deeply missed' mourners told

Murder victim Shane Whitla will be "deeply missed" mourners at his funeral were told
Murder victim Shane Whitla will be "deeply missed" mourners at his funeral were told Murder victim Shane Whitla will be "deeply missed" mourners at his funeral were told

MURDER victim Shane Whitla will be "deeply missed" mourners at his funeral have heard.

The 39-year-old was shot dead in Lurgan last week.

Police believe the father-of-four was shot in an alleyway off Woodville Street in the town before making his way to Lord Lurgan Park where he died.

The victim was shot a number of times including once in the back. A post mortem examination established that he had died as a result of a "bullet wound to the chest".

Police have released CCTV footage:

Family and friends packed into St Peter’s Church in Lurgan today for Requiem Mass during which Father Joseph Wozniak spoke of his love for his children.

"His children were his heart and soul," he said.

"He lived for them. He will be deeply missed by all especially his children. Shane, you have now gained your angel wings and are at peace united with your father and loving sister Natasha once again. Rest in peace.”

Father Wozniak said Mr Whitla's life was ended in a "brutal and callous way”.

“What has happened to Shane isn’t right and if we feel bitter and angry, as well deeply grieved, at the unfairness of it all there is no heaven or earth who can blame us," he said.

“Things aren’t meant to be like this. Everything is meant to be different. And there are just no easy words we can say that can explain the injustice of what has happened to Shane."

Father Joseph Wozniak said Mr Whitla was a "good man".

“All we can do today is be whatever comfort we can be to all of Shane’s family. Apart from this all we can do is be here for Shane, to surround him with words of kindness and respect and give thanks and honour all the goodness that was in him," he said.

“And lay him to rest in a warm embrace of this love, this kindness and this gratitude.

“For the past few days I don’t think I have heard anything except very kind and very genuine words about Shane.

"He was a good man, this is what so many people have been saying this past few days as we have all struggled to come to terms with the tragedy that brings us together now.”

Lurgan man Kevin Conway appeared in court today charged with Mr Whitla's murder.

Four other people have also been arrested as part of the PSNI investigation.

A 29-year-old man arrested in Lurgan after the murder was later released on bail to allow for further enquiries.

A 41-year-old man and a 29-year-old man also arrested after the murder have also since been released on bail.

A 29-year-old man and a 28-year-old man remain in custody.