Saturday 29 April 2017

'We are heartbroken for the O'Neill family - their kids play here every day' - Neighbours of innocent gangland victim

A Dublin flag and floral tributes hang on the gate outside the Dublin home of Trevor O'Neill
A Dublin flag and floral tributes hang on the gate outside the Dublin home of Trevor O'Neill

Ryan Nugent

"We're heartbroken, their kids come to play at our house every day."

Neighbours of innocent gangland victim Trevor O'Neill are still in shock after he was brutally gunned down in Spain on Wednesday night.

The Majorca holiday had been a birthday present for Dublin City Council employee Mr O'Neill, who was killed in a case of mistaken identity linked to the Kinahan-Hutch feud. One neighbour said she didn't know how Mr O'Neill's family will recover from the tragedy.

Meriline Calou, who lives about a dozen doors up from the family's Drimnagh home, where Mr O'Neill, his partner Suzanne Power and their three children live, said the whole community was in shock at the news.

Innocent victim Trevor O'Neill, who was gunned down in Majorca
Innocent victim Trevor O'Neill, who was gunned down in Majorca

She said her grandson was "best pals" with Mr O'Neill's two youngest children.

During the summer months, the three had been inseparable, and her grandson was anxious for his friends to come home.

Meriline Calou places flowers at the house
Meriline Calou places flowers at the house

Tragic

"The two kids come to play with my grandson in my house every day," she said. "Sometimes he's also gone across to play in their back garden.

"He missed the two kids. Every day he's been saying, 'when are they coming back home?' and there's nothing we can say."

Meriline said they have tried to explain the situation to her grandson, but he hasn't been able to grasp it at such a young age.

Having lived in the area for five years, Meriline said you couldn't meet a nicer family.

"Everybody here is very nice, especially this family. We were heartbroken to hear about it on Thursday," she said.

A number of neighbours arrived at the gates of the family's home to pay their respects to the family, who arrived back in Dublin late on Thursday night.

However, they were nowhere to be seen.

Adorning the front gates was a Dublin GAA flag, a football jersey and some bouquets of flowers.

The gravity of it all had even hit home to the younger generation, who, bunched together, stared at the gates without saying a word.

They would have known Mr O'Neill from regularly spotting him out on the street, playing with his children, according to another neighbour.

"It's tragic, he was a lovely man and he was a very good dad, because he was always out playing with them."

Other neighbours say Mr O'Neill was kind-hearted and always willing to lend a helping hand.

Irish Independent

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