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God took tragic Daniel to end his suffering in this world, says priest

MORE than 400 mourners turned out in heavy rain for the removal of tragic teen Daniel McAnaspie who was murdered while in the care of the HSE.

Many of the mourners wore yellow ribbons as a sign of respect for Daniel who was laid to rest this morning at Glasnevin Cemetery today following his Requiem Mass at 11.15am.

The large gathering packed into the Church of the Annunciation in Finglas West to hear Fr Peter McVerry describe the 17-year-old's life as "very prematurely destroyed".

"It is not just their lives. Those who murdered Daniel, their lives have been destroyed by this event. They have to live with their conscience and they will have to face the law," he told the congregation.

"They, too, will have their lives irrevocably changed. And their innocent families will also be devastated. While we mourn today for Daniel, we wonder did God take him to spare him any more suffering in this world. Daniel's life was not a happy one. There was a lot of pain and there was a lot of sadness there.

"Our God is a God of compassion. Our God is a God who reaches out to us in our pain, so there will be absolutely no doubt that God has reached out to Daniel, reached out to Daniel in all the suffering he endured."

If Daniel could be asked would he go back to earth, the answer would be no because "what he is now receiving from God, he would not give up for anything in this world".

The priest thanked the many people who had been involved in the search for Daniel since he went missing in February.

The ceremony followed a private wake held over the weekend by the McAnaspie family who had to wait three weeks for Daniel's body to be returned to them as it underwent forensic tests in the hope of obtaining clues to help catch his killer.



BREAKTHROUGH

Six young men carried the coffin from a horse-drawn carriage into the church in the pouring rain prior to the service.

Daniel went missing on February 26 after travelling from his home in Finglas with friends to the Whitestown area of Blanchardstown.

His body was found dumped in a ditch near Rathfeigh, Co Meath, on May 13. A post-mortem exam revealed he had been repeatedly stabbed.

More than 60 gardai have been investigating the circumstances surrounding Daniel's death and made a major breakthrough when they discovered what they believe to be the murder weapon during a three-day search of the Tolka Valley Park in Blanchardstown.

The state's forensic laboratory is currently examining a pair of bloody shears for DNA evidence which gardai believe will confirm it as the murder weapon.



SUSPECT



Gardai will also be hoping that forensic evidence linking the weapon to Daniel and the two suspects who have been questioned by gardai can be established.

Gardai investigating Daniel's murder have arrested a number of people, including the chief suspect for the crime, although they were subsequently released without charge.

The teenager's death has also placed the HSE under intense scrutiny over the high number of children who have died while under its care.


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