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Tragic John gets a final kiss goodbye from son (3)

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Tragic John gets a final kiss goodbye from son (3)

Post  Guest on Wed 11 Aug - 15:27

Tragic John gets a final kiss goodbye from son (3)
SHOT: Costa del Sol gun victim laid to rest as hunt for killer goes on

By Cormac Murphy


Tuesday August 10 2010

SLAIN John O'Neill's little boy gave a last kiss to his dad who was being buried today.

Jake O'Neill (3) affectionately kissed a picture of John at the removal ceremony for the tragic 41-year-old.

The youngster was held by his distraught mother Maxine as his dad's coffin was brought to the altar.

Father-of-two John was shot dead on a holiday in Spain as he enjoyed a night out with his fiancee and dozens of friends.

The shooting took place in Coco's pub in Benalmadena in the Costa del Sol on July 28.


Mourners

John, from Coolock in North Dublin, was being buried after a funeral mass at St Joseph's Church in Bonnybrook in Dublin today.

Hundreds of mourners gathered to pay their respects at the removal last night.

Fr Frank Duggan asked that the congregation pray for Maxine and the couple's two children Jake and Jasmine.

Other chief mourners included John's parents Hugh and Angela, his brother, sister as well as aunts, uncles and friends.

Fr Duggan talked about the grief Maxine -- who was with John when he was shot -- is going through.

He told her she will not have to bear her pain alone, adding people don't know what to say "but just being here says it all".

The classic Hollies song He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother filled the church as pallbearers carried John's coffin to the altar.

He was being buried at Fingal cemetery in Balgriffin.

One of Britain's most wanted criminals Darren O'Flaherty (35), from Liverpool, went on the run from Spanish police following the shooting.

The incident unfolded after the suspect was ejected by staff from Coco's Bar but returned half an hour later with a gun and opened fire randomly.

The gunman fired a number of shots, hitting Mr O'Neill. He escaped in the direction of the beach after he ran out of bullets.

Mr O'Neill and Maxine had flown to Spain to attend the wedding of a friend.

A European arrest warrant was issued by a Spanish judge for the suspected gunman.

North Yorkshire police were asked to provide the Spanish authorities with information on the suspect, who has a history of violent crime.


Kidnap

Mr O'Flaherty has been on the run from British police since being charged in connection with robbery and conspiracy to kidnap in 2006.

The suspect was sentenced to five years in jail for grievous bodily harm in 1995 after stabbing a man who was lying on the ground nine times in the back.

The suspect is thought to have been hiding out on the Costa del Sol since 2006.

hnews@herald.ie

- Cormac Murphy
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