‘Our role model’: Funeral takes place of man shot dead in Darndale

John Lawless was not known to gardaí for involvement in serious criminal activity

Father-of-three John Lawless was shot dead in north Dublin earlier this month

Father-of-three John Lawless was shot dead in north Dublin earlier this month

 

Father-of-three John Lawless, who was shot dead in north Dublin earlier this month, has been remembered as a man who loved to have fun and “loved to have time for his friends and family”.

More than 100 mourners gathered at St Francis of Assisi Church, Priorswood on Saturday morning for the funeral of Mr Lawless.

The 39-year-old had just left his home to go to work on the morning of February 8th when he was shot at Marigold Road, Darndale. He was treated at the scene before being brought to hospital, where he subsequently died. Mr Lawless’s partner is due to give birth to their fourth child soon.

Parish priest Fr Leo Philomin said Mr Lawless was a man “who loved and a man who was deeply loved”.

“A man who was taken from you in cold blood,” he said. “We remember a man who loved to have fun, who loved to have time for his friends and family.”

Fr Philomin told the congregation he lives beside where Mr Lawless was shot.

“I had just woken up, gone to the bathroom and came back and I heard a few shots. I had heard similar shots the week before. My hope was that was someone firing up in the air. And I was walked to go back to the bed, I saw the blue sirens, the blue lights,” he said.

“Death came like a thief in the early hours of the morn, into a family that was just getting with on with the ordinariness of life, waking up, brushing your teeth, maybe saying a goodbye kiss to the children, to Trish and heading off to work.

“Violence pierced the heart of a young family, separating them from their loved one John. Whatever the motive, to take life with such callous and cold disregard for human life, has no other name but murder.”

Mr Lawless’s eldest daughter Nicole read out a poem in which she described her father as “our role model” and “the life of the party”.

“The time we had with him was not nearly enough,” she said.

She said Mr Lawless was “our knight in shining armour” and that he was her mother Trisha’s “soul mate”. “She loved him through and through.”

Gifts included a Manchester United jersey, poker chips and darts, a family photo and Mr Lawless’s hard hat and hi-vis jacket which Fr Philomin said were “a sign of his dedication to work and commitment to provide for his family”.

Floral tributes which spelled out “Dad” were laid alongside the coffin in the hearse before it left the church. Funeral Mass was followed by burial at Fingal Cemetery.

Gardaí have said there is nothing to suggest Mr Lawless’s shooting has any connection with gangland crime. He was not known to gardaí for involvement in serious criminal activity.

A silver Ford Focus with a 132-D registration was found burnt out on Greenwood Avenue area of Donaghmede about 1km from the scene. It is believed to have been used by the gunman and an associate.

Gardaí said their investigations are continuing and no arrests have been made.