Adrian Crevan Mackin’s remains had lain in the morgue at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, for some days after his death by suicide last Sunday, while estranged family members and aquaintances worked out how to handle his burial.
No public death notice was issued for the 24-year-old in an attempt to keep details of the burial secret and the funeral director in Crevan Mackin’s home town of Newry who handled the arrangements had declined to divulge them in advance.
Numerous other undertakers in the town and surrounding areas had turned down requests to handle his remains.
Their reluctance reflected the sensitivity surrounding the volatile young man who shot Garda Golden dead and left the mother of his two children, Siobhan Phillips, critically ill after she reported him for domestic violence.
His remains were taken to the City of Belfast Crematorium in the grounds of Roselawn Cemetery for the 10.30am service in the unadorned, non-denominational chapel yesterday.
Staff at the crematorium conducted the brief proceedings which cost £595 (€800) and were witnessed by a handful of people. It is believed that from arrival at the grounds to the lowering of the coffin into the furnace, it took just half an hour.
Just one member of the media was present to record the event. “It’s over, it’s done,” was the only comment from the funeral director afterwards.
It is understood the ashes are being kept there for scattering on the grounds amid fears that any burial site or memorial stone would be targeted by vandals.
The spartan service was in stark contrast to the State funeral of Garda Golden which was attended by President Michael D Higgins and many dignatories from Government, the main churches, the defence forces, and more than 3,000 gardaí.
More details have been emerging about Crevan Mackin which reveal the 24-year-old to have been deeply troubled and difficult from a very young age.
Originally from Rostrevor, Co Down, his parents disassociated themselves from him, relocating to Australia when he was just 15 after he had apparently threatened to kill his mother.
He had numerous skirmishes with the law in the North and his reputation for violence was well-known.
Although he attended school and held down various jobs, he moved swiftly into the criminal world and funded a series of BMW cars and a suspected cocaine habit through counterfeiting and trading in guns.
Despite having no direct experience of the Troubles, he had contacts with dissident republicans and was under investigation by the PSNI when he was found in possession of illegal pornography and received a suspended sentence.
He was on bail from the Special Criminal Court after being charged with dissident republican activities when his often violent relationship with 21-year Siobhan Phillips, whom he had dated since she was just 15, broke down completely.
It appears he lay in wait at the house they shared in Omeath, Co Louth, after Siobhan reported him for domestic violence, and shot her within moments after she arrived with Garda Golden to gather personal belongings for herself and her two pre-school children.
Gardai now believe he was planning a bigger attack on unknown targets before his domestic problems exploded, as they found a high-powered automatic handgun and several hundred rounds of ammunition in his car, along with containers of petrol.