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We don't want revenge for 'Fat' Andy, say family

PRAYERS were offered for victims of crime at the funeral of murdered Traveller 'Fat' Andy Connors.

There was a large garda presence at the parish church in Saggart yesterday as a small gathering of close relatives attended the funeral of the 45-year-old.

Connors was gunned down in front of his wife and some of his children at his home on Tuesday last week.

His remains were brought to the the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Thursday night in a gold-plated coffin that cost €28,000.

He was the leader of a prolific burglary gang that operated all over the country.

intimidation

Before the funeral mass began members of the family opened the casket draped with a tricolour so they could say one last goodbye to him.

During the prayers of the faithful one wish expressed was "for all victims of crime and intimidation, that they receive justice and that God may give them courage to rebuild their lives".

Speaking in his homily, parish priest Fr Enda Cunningham, read out the last Valentine card that Connors had given to his wife.

"My Nan, I just want to say it's the best 24 years of my life," he said.

Fr Cunningham then spoke about the manner in which Connors was killed at his home in the townland of Boherboy.

"How can we ever begin to understand how someone can callously shoot a father before the eyes of a helpless mother and children?" he asked.

"Does it begin in a child's exposure to too much violence and indifference? Is it when drugs twist the mind to the point of no longer recognising what it means to share a common human decency any longer? I don't know, and I can't pretend to understand," he added.

The priest went on to say the Connors family wanted no revenge for the death of Andy Connors.

"There would be some, no doubt, who would encourage anger to be expressed in revenge. That somehow that it would be the 'honourable thing' to do. For what? So that some other wife and children can find themselves in the place of Ann and the Connors family, in some other church, searching just as wildly to make sense of another act of savagery?" he said.

"That's why I know it's not your desire, Nan, or the wishes of any of the Connors family, that any such acts of revenge are carried out," he added.

Three of the Connors children spoke emotionally of their father, saying he was "the best daddy in the world".

The altar was adorned with many photographs of Connors, as well as floral tributes shaped into messages like 'Million Dollar Man' and 'Legend'.

Others were shaped into cigarette boxes and power tools.

After the mass the funeral procession moved to Gorey in Co Wexford where burial was due to take place yesterday evening amid a heavy garda presence.

The Connors family told the Herald that death threats had been made to wider members of the family in the Tallaght area over the past week and they were fearful of being targeted at the funeral.

cfeehan@herald.ie


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