Tuesday 20 March 2018

‘No revenge’ call as family bury Dublin gun victim Dean Johnson

Mourners at the funeral of Dean Johnson
Mourners at the funeral of Dean Johnson
Dean Johnson: shot six times
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

THE parents of murdered Dean Johnson used his funeral to call for no retaliation in his name.

Elizabeth (Betty) and Larry Johnson led the mourners at the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Rowlagh, in Dublin.

There was standing room only in the church as hundreds turned out to say farewell to the 21-year-old who was gunned down on August 24.

Dean was ambushed just yards from his family home in Clondalkin, West Dublin, and pronounced dead at Tallaght Hospital 40 minutes later.

His family say he was a victim of mistaken identity.

Fr John Dunphy, parish priest, who celebrated the funeral Mass yesterday, said: “On behalf of Elizabeth and Larry, they have asked me to make a special appeal this morning to all those who may be tempted towards violence, that they want to say clearly they do not want violence in their name, that they want to be able to lay Dean to rest in peace, and to know that no violent act is perpetrated on their behalf or on Dean’s behalf.

“We ask God to help all those who have turned to violence to turn them back to the love of God and to change their heart of stone into loving hearts again,” he said.

He told the mourners: “As we gather in the church this morning, all of us are conscious of the deep pain and suffering of the Johnson family. This tragic and final end to Dean’s life, the violent end to his life, shocked his family and devastated them.

“It also shocked us as a community. For Elizabeth and Larry, they didn’t ever expect to bury their own child. The heartache and the pain they feel has been felt by other parents. No parent ever expects to bury their child,” he said.

Fr Dunphy said that Dean’s sister, and brothers, his partner, nieces and nephews and his friends, “are all in shock and disbelief at what has happened”.

Gifts which were brought to the altar included a Playstation console, watches and football trophies.

The Mass heard tributes to Dean who was a “favourite uncle” who was “too young to die.” He is survived by his parents, his sister Audrey, brothers Mark, Stephen and Andrew, and his partner Rachael.

Following the Mass, his coffin was carried out of the church as the song Hallelujah rang out, and he was then laid to rest in Palmerstown Cemetery.


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