Hundreds attend Dublin shooting victim’s funeral

Priest speaks out about the ‘evil’ created by violent murders during ceremony

The remains of Eric Fowler are carried from the Church of St Philip the Apostle, Mountview, Clonsilla, Dublin. Photograph: The Irish Times

The remains of Eric Fowler are carried from the Church of St Philip the Apostle, Mountview, Clonsilla, Dublin. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

A parish priest has spoken out against the “presence of evil” brought into communities by violent murders.

Fr Mathew Binoy made the comments at the funeral Mass for father-of-two Eric Fowler (34), who was shot dead on December 22nd outside his home in Blakestown Cottages, Blanchardstown, west Dublin.

Detectives believe the murder was likely related to gangland crime, but are keeping an open mind on whether or not it is connected to the Hutch-Kinahan feud, which has claimed about 18 lives since 2016.

There was a discreet Garda presence at the service for Mr Fowler at the St Philip the Apostle church, Mountview, Clonsilla, on Saturday morning.

Approximately 200 mourners were present at the service.

A number of wreathes accompanied the coffin in the hearse. They read “Dad”, “pal” and “buba”. Boxing gloves and a family portrait were laid on the altar as symbols of his life.

Fr Binoy said Mr Fowler’s sudden death was a “sharp reminder” of the evils of such killings.

Evil could only be overcome, he added, when people embraced “life-giving and life-enhancing relationships” and by acknowledging the “real and tragic effects of evil and sin in our world”.

‘Questions of injustice’

Fr Binoy suggested that Mr Fowler’s violent death would lead to a lot of questions about violence and injustice.

He said that from speaking to those who knew him best, he knew that Mr Fowler had loved and been loved.

“I want to tell Eric’s parents this morning that I know that God knows what it’s like to lose a child. So I am convinced God’s heart is broken over the loss of this one, too. I know that God is faithful and merciful. So I am certain that God was always with Eric and was always with each of us.”

Mr Fowler’s mother Therese said her son was loved by those who knew him and was loyal to his friends and family.

She said he had been a great father to his daughters Hailey and Layla and had good relationships with their mothers – his partner Laura, and Hailey’s mother Claire.

She suggested he will be particularly missed by his “boys” – those who worked with him at the Blakestown Car Wash and Valet Centre, which he owned. She recalled that he had also been a wonderful dancer, despite being a big man.

After the funeral Mass, Mr Fowler’s remains were buried in Mulhuddart Cemetery.