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Murdered man’s family plead for information

By Evan Short

The family of Kevin Kearney who was brutally murdered in a park in broad daylight last October have made a renewed appeal for information ahead of Fathers Day this weekend.

The mother of two of the 46 year old’s four children, Charlene Whelan, says both her and Kevin’s three youngest children, Amy, 5, Jessica, 8, and Nicole, 18, have been living a “nightmare” since he was shot dead in Alexandra Park on October 8.

“The police are still going through the CCTV and are following a number of lines of inquiry. They are still on the case,” she told the North Belfast News this week.

“Everyone says it gets easier but it doesn’t. If anyone knows even the smallest thing tell the police about it because we want them to have their day in court so we can get them off the streets.

“We need answers. We need closure.”

Since October, Charlene, 39, says landmark events in Kevin’s daughters’ lives have made his loss even harder to bear as well as events such as Father’s Day.

“He was killed on the 8th of October and he has missed so much since then. He missed Nicole’s 18th and Jessica’s First Holy Communion.

“The Communion was the hardest. Last year I had been looking for dresses with Kevin for Jessica and then he wasn’t there to see her on her big day.

“And the first time Jessica broke down since it happened was last week when the school gave them all wee certificates for Fathers Day.

“I was glad because that’s the first time she has cried since he died. But we are all in counselling.”

Eighteen year old Nicole, who was living with her dad when he was killed, said he has left a big hole in their lives.

“He was a part of everything. He would have been round making your dinner – it would have been completely different if he wasn’t always here, but he was.

“He dropped me off to school the day it had happened. When I came home the plate was still there and a crust still on it, and his green tea was still there. He used to pour it while he walked the dogs so it was cool when he got back.”

Concentrating on schoolwork and her upcoming exams is the only way Nicole says she has been able to cope.

“I am doing my A’ Levels and I thought it was better to throw myself into school work. I was back at school within a couple of days of the funeral.”

However she said Fathers Day would be particularly hard.

“He always said not to buy him a card because he would say it didn’t show that I loved him anymore than I did.”

Sunday will be spent at Kevin’s grave in Milltown according to Charlene.

“It’s going to be a nightmare. We will go to the graveyard with the kids and they will bring him their cards.

“Those animals have taken away our future. I went to Newcastle with the kids two weeks ago and we all wanted to go home immediately. We couldn’t stay. We just feel safer in our own house because it’s like I’m just waiting on him coming through the door.”

Mr Kearney’s murder is being investigated by detectives in Musgrave Street police station and they can be contacted on 0845 600 8000.

Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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