Tuesday 30 May 2017

Family of murder victim Neil Reilly remember his 'heart of gold'

Neil Reilly was described as having a
Neil Reilly was described as having a "heart of gold" at the funeral service
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The family of murder victim Neil Reilly declared a special thanks at his funeral today for the "compassionate help of the Garda Siochana".

Neil Reilly's mother also praised her son for his "heart of gold" in a moving eulogy.

His mother Marian addressed the large congregation at Saint Patrick's Church in Esker, Lucan, as his fiancée Gina McAney stood near her.

Neil Reilly (36) was found lying on a roadway at Esker Glebe Estate in Lucan at 4am on January 18, not far from his home at Saint Finian's Close.

Murder victim Neil Reilly
Murder victim Neil Reilly

He had been beaten, stabbed and run over by a car.

Among the items brought to the altar at the beginning of the Requiem Mass were a toy car, to symbolise the new motor garage that the victim, a mechanic, had opened in December. 

A pair of jump leads was carried to the altar in recognition of "his willingness to drop everything to help anyone".  Photographs of his fiancée and children were brought to the altar along with a dog lead to symbolise his love for his dogs Sarah and Gary.

He was praised for being a loving father and four names of his children were read out on the altar.  A poignant floral bouquet depicting the word 'Dad' was brought in the hearse to the church.

The victim's mother Marian, speaking at the end of the Mass, said the Mass was a commemoration of his life.

"He has shown nothing but determination, dedication, respect and love," she said, naming his four children and his fiancée Gina.

"Neil was very happy and content in himself. Neil and Gina got engaged on Christmas Day and we were all so happy for both of them."

She said Neil and his son were "buddies and best friends" who had a lot of fun together and he had "a super relationship" with his daughters who were "his princesses."

She will always treasure her memories of him,  she said.

"His senseless, brutal murder makes no sense to any of us at all," she said.

She asked the congregation to remember "the Neil who was full of life, the Neil who always had a brilliant sense of humour, the Neil who loved life and had great determination and strength."

He was so looking forward to his new life with Gina and his children and the new garage business he had just opened, she said.

She declared "We loved you Neil, so much, and that love will not be taken from us.

And Neil's motto was "thumbs up, a big hearty laugh, thumbs up, and we'll get sorted, forward, not back."

She gave a thumbs up as a sign as applause filled the church at the end of her speech.

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