Thursday 29 September 2016

Family of murdered Duggan 'cast into darkness', mourners hear

Laura Larkin and Robin Schiller

Published 29/03/2016 | 02:30

Family and friends of the late Noel Duggan carry his remains from the Holy Trinity Church, in Ratoath, Co Meath, after his funeral yesterday morning Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Family and friends of the late Noel Duggan carry his remains from the Holy Trinity Church, in Ratoath, Co Meath, after his funeral yesterday morning Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
There was a discreet garda presence outside the funeral Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Mourners attending the funeral of Ireland's latest gangland fatality were told that the death of Noel Duggan was a "cruel, cowardly and callous act".

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Hundreds of friends and family arrived at the Holy Trinity Church in Ratoath, Co Meath, to pay their respects to Mr Duggan.

The grandfather and father-of-three was gunned down outside his home in the Old Mill estate, Ratoath, shortly before 8pm last Wednesday.

There was a moderate garda presence throughout the Mass as a number of uniformed officers kept watch outside of the church grounds.

An armed vehicle from the Regional Support Unit, along with an Emergency Response Unit vehicle also patrolled near the church. However, the garda presence was mild in comparison to the massive security operations that took place around the funerals of Eddie Hutch (58) and David Byrne (33) in the capital last month.

The coffin of Mr Duggan arrived shortly before 11am and was accompanied with floral tributes reading 'Dad' and 'Boss'.

During the service, Fr Brendan Ludlow said the murder of Mr Duggan was a "cruel, cowardly and callous act". He noted that it happened "on Wednesday evening, the very day associated with the cruel and spineless decision of Judas".

"The Duggan family's world has been shaken, their lives have been rocked to the core and all light has been eclipsed. They have been cast into darkness," he told mourners.

"Noel Duggan's family have come to know what it is to stand by helplessly, watching on in horror as the traumatic events unfolded, as the husband and father they loved was cruelly taken from them.

"Belinda has been robbed of a loving husband, Garreth, Darren and Nicola have lost a loving, devoted father who was always been firm but fair and always lavished them with affection."

His grandchildren were robbed of a "proud and affectionate grandfather", he added.

The priest thanked the congregation on behalf of the family for their support since Mr Duggan's death.

Prayers were also offered for the gardaí and the emergency services who tended to Mr Duggan after the shooting.

Mourners signed a book of condolence for the family, and after the service the congregation moved on to Ratoath cemetery for Mr Duggan's burial.

Detectives investigating the 56-year-old's murder believe it was part of an ongoing feud between members of the Hutch and Kinahan gangs.

Mr Duggan was a close friend of Gerry Hutch, and it is believed this made him a legitimate target by members of the Kinahan cartel.

Nicknamed Mr Kingsize, the murder victim was involved in tobacco smuggling with members of both the Provisional IRA and the dissident groups for many years. A close relative of the victim last week said that they didn't want any retaliation for his murder.

Irish Independent

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