Friday 15 November 2019

'Kind hearted' Dermot Byrne receives emotional goodbye after violent killing

The remains are carried from church with a guard of honour from the Blackball Association of Ireland and St. Colmcille's GAA Club. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
The remains are carried from church with a guard of honour from the Blackball Association of Ireland and St. Colmcille's GAA Club. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
The remains are carried from church with a guard of honour from the Blackball Association of Ireland and St. Colmcille's GAA Club. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
The funeral cortege makes its way to church flanked by members of St. Colmciles GAA club, left and members of The Blackball Association of Ireland (in green). Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Members of the Blackball Association of Ireland walk with the hearse. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
The remains leave the church after funeral Mass. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Members of St. Colmcilles GAA club hold bicycle wheels as they form a guard of honour. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
The remains are carried from church with a guard of honour from the Blackball Association of Ireland and St. Colmcille's GAA Club. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
The remains are carried from church followed by family members with a guard of honour from the Blackball Association of Ireland and St. Colmcille's GAA Club. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Dermot Byrne's brother, Robert is consoled. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

The Dublin man who was beaten to death on a street in Swords has been remembered as a kind, hard-working man who would put others’ needs before his own.

Innocent father-of-three Dermot Byrne (56) was attacked on North Street in the north Dublin town on July 16 as he made his way home after a night out.

His body was found by a shocked passer-by, and although emergency crews battled to save his life his injuries were too grave.

Dermot’s remains were brought to St Colmcille’s Church in Swords yesterday for his funeral, where many of the mourners had to listen to the service on loudspeakers in the car park because the church was so full.

As Dermot’s coffin was brought to the church behind a lone piper, a walking guard of honour was formed on each side of the hearse by members of the Irish Blackball Association and St Colmcille’s GAA Club.

Symbols brought to the altar to represent his life included his pool cue, cigarettes and his Zippo lighter, brought by his daughter Shawna; a Dublin jersey and match tickets brought by his daughter Emma, and some of his favourite CD’s, including David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and Aslan, brought by his daughter Rebecca.

Members of St. Colmcilles GAA club hold bicycle wheels as they form a guard of honour. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Members of St. Colmcilles GAA club hold bicycle wheels as they form a guard of honour. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Fr Paul Thornton told the mourners that what everyone woke up to on July 16 was news of “a brutal and callous killing that left a man dead on the streets of our town”.

“This act of violence doesn’t just affect us today, it’s part of the viciousness that eats away at the fabric of our society and removes from us that which we value - respect for one another, and the freedom to be able to walk through our town without fear,” he explained.

The remains are carried from church with a guard of honour from the Blackball Association of Ireland and St. Colmcille's GAA Club. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
The remains are carried from church with a guard of honour from the Blackball Association of Ireland and St. Colmcille's GAA Club. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Dermot worked in a bicycle sales and distribution company with his brothers.

He was described as a man who was kind, hard working, and who would do anything for you especially if you were stuck. “He put others before himself,” said Fr Thornton.

The remains are carried from church with a guard of honour from the Blackball Association of Ireland and St. Colmcille's GAA Club. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
The remains are carried from church with a guard of honour from the Blackball Association of Ireland and St. Colmcille's GAA Club. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

There were smiles amid the tears too, when Fr Thornton told how Dermot could give celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay a run for his money.

Daughter Shawna spoke emotionally at the end of the mass, and how at her 21st when she was just about to blow the candles out on her cake her dad could not be found, but after a brief search he was discovered downstairs playing a game of pool.

The remains leave the church after funeral Mass. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
The remains leave the church after funeral Mass. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

“When we told him to come up he actually turned around and said ‘can I finish this game first?’,” Shawna said with a smile.

Dermot’s brother Paul too spoke emotionally of his family’s love for him, and their thanks to the emergency services and gardai.

The funeral cortege makes its way to church flanked by members of St. Colmciles GAA club, left and members of The Blackball Association of Ireland (in green). Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
The funeral cortege makes its way to church flanked by members of St. Colmciles GAA club, left and members of The Blackball Association of Ireland (in green). Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

He had his own memories of Dermot as a child and growing up and how Dermot would look out for his younger brother.

After the funeral mass Dermot’s remains were brought to Dardistown cemetery for burial.

Dermot Byrne's brother, Robert is consoled. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Dermot Byrne's brother, Robert is consoled. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

One man has been arrested and charged with his murder and is before the courts.

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