The innocent father of three who was killed in a deliberate hit and run in Tallaght last week has been remembered as a kind, loving and smiling man full of love for his family.
Stephen Lynch (32) suffered fatal head injuries after a silver Ford Focus was driven over him by a gang of men and he was dragged along the road in Brookview Close, Tallaght, last Thursday.
St Aidan’s Church in Brookview was full to capacity as the Tallaght community turned up in strength and solidarity with the Lynch family for his funeral today.
Members of St Mark’s Celtic football club formed and guard of honour as the hearse carrying Stephen’s coffin arrived.
Fr Jimmy McPartland said Stephen had died "at an age and in a way we did not expect".
"His death is like a great disaster. His death on Holy Thursday has stunned the community. It is untimely and unjust," he added.
Symbols brought to the altar to symbolise Leeds fan Stephen’s life included a football, a Leeds and Shamrock Rovers scarf and family photographs.
A smiling photograph of Stephen, and a large Leeds flag with Stephen’s photo incorporated into it, adorned his coffin.
At the end of the mass his brother Ray and mother Vera spoke emotionally of their love for their brother and son.
Vera said that the day Stephen was born was the proudest day of her life, and the day he died was the worst in her life.
"Stephen had his own personal problems, and I knew he was never going to get old, but I didn't expect it to be like this," she explained.
"He was my son and I loved him, and I knew he loved me and his brothers and sister," said Vera.
"Stephen was a special kind of person. He lived for us, for family," said Ray, adding that he was always taking pictures for his Facebook page.
"When I came out of the closet he slagged me and would call me every name under the sun, but he was always there, he had my back," said Ray, adding that the small details and memories are the ones they will treasure forever.
"He is all of the wonderful things that everyone has said about him. He is my big brother," he added. Before final prayers Bishop Eamonn Walsh, who concelebrated the mass, praised the people of Tallaght for their support of Stephen’s family.
From the altar he said he prayed that the justice system won't be such that it just focuses on a the length of the sentence but "will put a line on people's property and make people work to repair the damage", saying that Stephen’s children have to be educated and bills have to be paid.
Stephen’s coffin was taken from the church to the song Fix You by Coldplay, followed by burial at Newlands Cross Cemetery.
He is survived by his parents Vera and Danny; children Craig, Haylie and Cillian; beloved siblings Paul, Ray, Becky and Dylan, and partner Kellie.
Gardai believe a violent former boxer was present with three other young men, including two brothers from Crumlin, when Stephen was deliberately run over.
The car used to kill Stephen was seized by gardai along with other evidence at the scene.
Although no arrests have been made armed gardai yesterday raided the home of the main suspect in the murder.
Members of the garda armed support unit used a battering ram to storm the house.
Around a dozen Regional Support Unit officers, some armed with machine guns, arrived at the property with detectives and then left the house more than an hour later with bags of items that will undergo forensic examination.
Stephen’s own home at Glenshane Close has become a shrine to him since his death, with floral tributes and candles placed at the garden railings by shocked neighbours and friends.
A vigil was held there on Wednesday night by locals to show their unity and support for Stephen’s family.