Thursday 14 December 2017

'Justice will be served' - Priest tells hundreds of mourners at vigil for murdered Stephen

Family and friends pictured at the vigil for Stephen Lynch at Glenshane Close. Picture: Frank Mc Grath
Family and friends pictured at the vigil for Stephen Lynch at Glenshane Close. Picture: Frank Mc Grath
Family and friends pictured at the vigil for Stephen Lynch at Glenshane Close. Picture:Frank Mc Grath
Family and friends pictured at the vigil for Stephen Lynch at Glenshane Close. Picture: Frank Mc Grath
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

Hundreds of mourners brought a housing estate in Tallaght to a standstill on Wednesday night in a candle-light vigil honouring slain father-of-three Stephen Lynch.

More than 500 friends, acquaintances and neighbours brought flowers, balloons and other tokens of respect in a show of solidarity for his heartbroken mother Vera and other family who were being comforted by a steady stream of supporters at the family home in the Glenshane estate.

Family and friends pictured at the vigil for Stephen Lynch at Glenshane Close. Picture: Frank Mc Grath
Family and friends pictured at the vigil for Stephen Lynch at Glenshane Close. Picture: Frank Mc Grath

Mothers, fathers, grandparents, teenagers and children alike stood shoulder to shoulder as they recited the Lord's Prayer on behalf of Stephen, whom a local priest described as dying "an untimely death in an unjust way."

A spokesman for the family thanked the crowd for paying its respects and showing solidarity in their darkest hour.

He paid tribute to Stephen as "a popular family man who loved to play soccer and socialise and always had a smile on his face."

He thanked members of the community who attended the vigil, noting " it's important for us to show the positives in this community."

"Hopefully justice will be served," he said to a thunderous round of applause.

A large gathering is expected at Stephen's funeral at St Aidan's church on Friday morning.

Six year old Ralph Vaitkus, pictured at the vigil for Stephen Lynch at Glenshane Close. Picture Credit:Frank Mc Grath
Six year old Ralph Vaitkus, pictured at the vigil for Stephen Lynch at Glenshane Close. Picture Credit:Frank Mc Grath

Meanwhile, the home of the 32-year-old father-of-three has become a shrine as friends and neighbours left floral bouquets, candles and photos in tribute to the innocent young man.

He was deliberately run over by a car in the nearby Brookview housing estate last Thursday night.

Mr Lynch, who is from the Glenshane estate in Tallaght is believed to have become involved in a row with four men, who are now the chief suspects in his murder and believed to be on the run.

Gardai are not aware of what may have sparked the row but they stressed that Stephen was not involved in crime in any way.

One theory is that Stephen, described by one of his neighbours following his horrific killing, as “a nice, quiet lad”, had simply asked his suspected killers to slow down as they drove a silver Ford Focus erratically through the housing estate.

But gardai still have no definite motive for the brutal killing.

Mr Lynch was driven over and dragged on the road. Gardai believe his callous killers drove back and forth repeatedly  over him as he lay sprawled on the road.

The driver of the car fled the scene on foot and is believed to have gotten into a getaway car.

Shocked neighbours who gathered outside the crime scene on Brookview Close after the brutal killing on the eve of Holy Thursday were too upset to talk.

But as Stephen's body lay at the scene, obscured from the public eye by two tents as a forensic team combed the area for evidence, the air of fear amongst locals was palpable.

"He was murdered," a man in his 30s said, refusing to say anything more out of fear of reprisals from the thugs capable of such a gruesome killing.

Online Editors

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