31/03/2008

No Retaliation Plea At Burial

There was a plea at the weekend for no retaliation following the violent death of a Co Tyrone man.

Mourners at the funeral of murder victim Shaun Fitzpatrick were urged not to take the law into their own hands as the town of Dungannon came to a standstill to allow hundreds to pack into St Patrick's Church for the funeral of the 32-year-old shop manager.

Mr Fitzpatrick was beaten to death as he walked home during the early hours of Easter Sunday morning. People from all faiths and walks of life gathered for yesterday's service, during which an appeal was made for no reprisals from the shattered community.

Among the congregation were representatives from Dungannon council including the Mayor, Barry Monteith, and from local football and GAA clubs.

Addressing the mourners, Dean Colum Curry, said: "Death is always hard to accept but Shaun was murdered. His life was taken from him in a vicious and brutal assault, and that is murder.

"We have always been taught that God is the giver of all life. The human life is so precious

and sacred that no-one has the right to take that life or to damage it. Shaun Fitzpatrick's

untimely death was not what God planned."

Dean Currie said he would pray for the killers and urged no one to seek revenge. "We pray that those responsible for this cruel deed, whoever they might be, will acknowledge the enormity of their crime and will seek God’s forgiveness."

"The last thing the people of Dungannon need is any form of reprisal, and the last thing we

want in our community is any kind of bitterness or animosity.

"This is a time to recognise the need for mutual respect and tolerance for all who live and work here.

"Shaun's parents, Bill and Rosemary, have demonstrated during the past week the greatest

dignity and reserve in the face of this awful injustice. For all of that they are to be admired

and complimented."

Dean Currie described Shaun as a popular and well-respected young man and said the sympathy of the entire town was with his grieving family: "Those who grew up with Shaun de-scribed him as a young man who enjoyed life and loved people, was popular and well respected, and was inoffensive.

"He was a man of peace and goodwill, which makes it all the more ironic that he should die as he did."

Following Requiem Mass Mr Fitzpatrick's remains were interred at Dungannon's Carland Road

cemetery.

On Friday evening around 300 people took part in a prayer vigil at Lisnahull to show solidarity with the Fitzpatrick family.

The Mayor, Mr Monteith, said the vigil was "a heartfelt reaction" from the community.

Two Lithuanian men have been remanded in custody charged with Mr Fitzpatrick's murder.

(BMcC)




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