Wednesday 20 September 2017

'We need alternate ways to deal with conflict' - Funeral of stab victim Reece (16) in church where mother was recently laid to rest

The funeral cortege of 16-year-old Reece Cullen who was stabbed to death in Jobstown makes its way to Kilmashogue cemetery.
Photo: Tony Gavin
The funeral cortege of 16-year-old Reece Cullen who was stabbed to death in Jobstown makes its way to Kilmashogue cemetery. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mourners at the funeral of 16 year old Reece Cullen at the church of St. Martin de Porres in Aylsbury, Old Bawn. Photo: Tony Gavin
The coffin of 16 year old Reece Cullen who was stabbed to death in Jobstown arrives at the church of St. Martin de Porres in Aylsbury, Old Bawn. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mourners at the funeral of 16 year old Reece Cullen at the church of St. Martin de Porres in Aylsbury, Old Bawn. Photo: Tony Gavin
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

The funeral of 16-year-old stab victim Reece Cullen took place today in the same church where his mother’s funeral was held just four months ago.

Reece was stabbed in the chest at a house in Kilclare Crescent, Jobstown, at about 3pm last Thursday, becoming the first person to die violently this year.

Victim: Reece Cullen (16) was stabbed in the heart
Victim: Reece Cullen (16) was stabbed in the heart

There were sad scenes as mourners turned out to pay their respects to the tragic teenager.

Reece’s father Kenneth and brothers Nathan and Dylan were chief mourners, along with his grandparents.

His girlfriend Sophie Evans (17) was among the heartbroken mourners who turned out to say goodbye to the youngster.

She wept openly as she was comforted by friends. Her and her pals all wore blue ribbons in their hair and t-shirts with his picture on them.

Reece Cullen and girlfriend Sophie Evans(17)
Reece Cullen and girlfriend Sophie Evans(17)

Bishop Eamonn Walsh told mourners that words are not enough when trying to explain the depth of the grief for Reece’s family.

“We need to find alternative ways to deal with conflict, because conflict can begin with just a dirty look, or a put-down word.

"We only see good by seeing it ourselves first,” he added at the end of the mass in the Church of St Martin de Porres, Old Bawn, Tallaght.

“If you don’t see the good in yourself you won’t be able to see it in someone else, so to you the young people, look within you for the hidden treasure within you, and let us and you as a community bring it out because there is huge goodness so we will.

“Look upon one another as people who are precious, special and gifted and who can make this world a better place,” Bishop Walsh added.

“It starts with a look, how you look at yourself, how you speak about yourself, how you speak about others, actions will follow. But if you put yourself down, and let anyone put someone else down it translates into actions that end in terrible tragedy,” the bishop explained.

Bishop Walsh also said that he never realised when confirming Reece three or four years ago that he would be back at his funeral such a short time later.

Fr Michael Hurley told the mourners that Reece was now with his mother Ann Marie, who was also prayed for.

Reece’s funeral was followed by burial taking place afterwards at Kilmashogue Cemetery in Rathfarnham.

In an exclusive interview with the Herald last, his devastated girlfriend Sophie told how she was on the phone to Reece at the time he was stabbed.

“He was stabbed and I just heard him screaming. Then the phone went off,” she said.

He was just saying he was walking out the front door to come around. That’s when he was struck.

“He said ‘I’m on the way down to you baby’, then I heard him screaming, saying ‘My heart, my heart’.

“Then that was it,” she said.

Close to €2,000 had been donated on two individual GoFundMe pages, which have been set up for the murder victim’s family

Reece was discovered by a female neighbour bleeding to death at the foot of a staircase.

He was rushed to Tallaght Hospital but was pronounced dead a short time later.

It is not the first tragedy to strike the family after Reece’s mother Ann Marie Cullen died tragically last September.

The innocent family had previously been intimidated by a notorious family in the area, who are linked to a violent drug dealer.

Sources stated that Ann Marie’s home was attacked on several occasions in the months before her death but it is not known if this is in any way linked to last week’s murder.

Gardai believe that the murder happened as part of a dispute between two groups of local teenagers, which involved a row that saw one of the groups threatening the other with a pellet gun on at least two occasions over the past month.

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