Fr Melvin Mullins told the congregation attending the Requiem Mass for Trevor O’Neill that expressions like “mistaken identity” and “wrong place, wrong time” are empty clichés that will provide little comfort to his family.
“The truth is Trevor was murdered, killed doing something ordinary and any father would do on a family holiday. Trevor loved people. He talked to people around the pool, and now we are here,” said Fr Mullins.
Mr O’Neill, 42, from Drimnagh in Dublin, who was known to friends as Nailer, was enjoying a family holiday with his partner and three children in the Spanish island resort of Costa de la Calma to celebrate his birthday, when he was shot dead on August 17.
Gardaí believe he was killed during a botched attempt on the life of a man he had just been talking to — a man believed to have links to the Hutch family which is embroiled in a murderous feud with the Kinahans.
An innocent victim who was totally unconnected to the feud, Mr O’Neill was the 10th victim, and the second innocent victim, of the recent spate of bloody violence which has been linked to the Hutch-Kinahan feud.
Hundreds of people packed the church yesterday, close to where Mr O’Neill grew up, to pay their final respects to the former Dublin City Council worker.
The mourners were led by Mr O’Neill’s heartbroken partner Suzanne, his children —, Céadaoin, 12, Layla, 6, and Cody, 5, who each wore Dublin GAA jerseys — and his father, Vinnie whose wife, Sylvia, died some time ago.
Dublin Lord Mayor Cllr Brendan Carr and Dublin city manager Eoghan Keegan were joined by several of Mr O’Neill’s colleagues from the council’s drainage section.
A Dublin flag, sunglasses and cap, betting slips, a Liverpool jersey, a bodhrán, and Mr O’Neill’s Dublin City Council jacket were among the items which were carried to the altar, symbolising his interests in life.
Fr Mullins told mourners that Mr O’Neill had hoped to attend last Sunday’s All-Ireland football semi-final clash between Dublin and Kerry in Croke Park, and that he would have delighted in the epic game, and the result.
He said he had a wide circle of friends but that his family was the number one love of his life; and described his death as a tragic loss.
Mr O’Neill’s cousin, Gareth Connolly, also paid tribute to him, saying that he was full of life, laughs and stories — but most of all, that he was full of love, adored his family and loved his job.
His work colleagues formed a guard of honour outside and applauded as the coffin was carried from the church before Mr O’Neill’s remains was buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery.