Tuesday 25 October 2016

Tributes paid to 'a wonderful dad' gunned down by mistake

Laura Larkin

Published 20/06/2015 | 02:30

Grieving family members of Keith Walker are consoled at his funeral in Clondalkin yesterday.
Photo: Collins
Grieving family members of Keith Walker are consoled at his funeral in Clondalkin yesterday. Photo: Collins
Keith Walker

An innocent dad-of-two who was gunned down in a botched gang hit was remembered at his funeral yesterday as "a wonderful family man".

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Mourners gathered to pay their respects to Keith Walker (36) at the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Rowlagh, Clondalkin.

Mr Walker died when he was shot several times last Friday on the Sherwin Road in Blanchardstown in a case of mistaken identity.

Fr David Halpin, who led the service, described Mr Walker as a "fine upstanding man" who always put his family first and gave of his time generously to referee schoolboy football matches at weekends.

Young footballers lined out at the church as the hearse arrived led by a piper.

Mr Walker married his teenage sweetheart Lorraine only three weeks ago. The couple were due to celebrate with family and friends in September.

During the funeral service, the couple were described as "best friends".

Fr Halpin said Mr Walker would always bring his wife her breakfast in bed if she was sick.

The pair have two sons, Jake and Taylor Jack. Taylor Jack, who Mr Walker always described as his "miniature Michael Flatley", made his communion in the same church earlier this year.

A Liverpool scarf, a referee's jersey, a racing pigeon trophy and a pigeon whistle were laid at the altar during the service to represent Mr Walker's passion for his pastimes.

"If he had his family and his pigeons, all was right in the world for Keith," Fr Halpin said.

In a moving eulogy, Mr Walker's friend Gareth described him as a "real character" and a "big teddy bear" who was extremely proud of his sons.

Fr Halpin told the congregation that Mr Walker had come face to face with "pure evil" when he was murdered. "It's so wrong that a young man's life has been cut short by an act of such gross violence," he said.

Three men are in custody as Garda investigations continue.

Irish Independent

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