Priest's plea over victim of violence
A parish priest delivered a compelling warning to all young people at risk of becoming innocent victims of drug and alcohol-fuelled acts of violence at the funeral of Niall Coyle, 33, who was killed while working in Holland as an electrician on an oil rig in Dordrecht near Rotterdam.
He was beaten to death in the Netherlands late last month, the innocent victim of an unprovoked attack.
His family of six sisters and three brothers huddled close to one another at their brother's funeral in the village of Four Roads, Co Roscommon last Thursday. Yet, despite their evident heartache and loss, they painted a poignant portrait of a vibrant and talented life that was taken away too soon.
Described as big in stature, heart and mind, Mr Coyle was a well-travelled young man who had visited countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Norway before taking up work in the Netherlands before Christmas.
Now, however, the Coyle family are left torn apart by grief while Dutch police are questioning a 45-year-old ex-military man in connection with his untimely death.
Having described Mr Coyle's brutal killing as a "violation of human life, a senseless and repulsive act of evil", Fr Beirne addressed a unified congregation by urging young people to be extra vigilant and to take care of one another.
"The consumption of alcohol and the increasing intake of drugs are all fuelling the on-going problem of street violence," Fr Beirne warned.
"Indeed, I feel, the recent openings of head shops will only further exasperate the existing problems we already face. Our streets are not safe, not anymore, and young people need to take extra care of each other."