Hundreds of mourners pay respects at vigil honouring murdered Stephen Lynch
Hundreds of mourners brought a housing estate in Tallaght to a standstill tonight in a vigil honouring slain father-of-three Stephen Lynch.
More than 500 friends, acquaintances and neighbours brought flowers, balloons and other tokens of respect in a show of solidarity for his heartbroken mother Vera and other family who were being comforted by a steady stream of supporters at the family home in the Glenshane estate.
Mothers, fathers, grandparents, teenagers and children alike stood shoulder to shoulder as they recited the Lord's Prayer on behalf of Stephen, whom a local priest described as dying "an untimely death in an unjust way."
A spokesman for the family thanked the crowd for paying its respects and showing solidarity in their darkest hour.
He paid tribute to Stephen as "a popular family man who loved to play soccer and socialise and always had a smile on his face."
Flowers and photographs adorn the railings around the home of Stephen Lynch in Glenshane
He thanked members of the community who attended the vigil, noting that "it's important for us to show the positives in this community."
"Hopefully justice will be served," he said to a thunderous round of applause.
A large gathering is expected at Stephen's funeral on Friday morning.
Meanwhile, the home of the 32-year-old has become a shrine as friends and neighbours left floral bouquets, candles and photos in tribute to the innocent young man.
He was deliberately run over by a car in the nearby Brookview housing estate last Thursday night.
Mr Lynch, who is from the Glenshane estate in Tallaght, is believed to have become involved in a row with four men, who are now the chief suspects in his murder and believed to be on the run.
Gardai are not aware of what may have sparked the row but they stressed that Stephen was not involved in crime in any way.
One theory is that Stephen (pictured above in a tribute at his home), had simply asked his suspected killers to slow down as they drove a silver Ford Focus erratically through the housing estate.
But gardai still have no definite motive for the brutal killing.
Mr Lynch was driven over and dragged on the road. Gardai believe his callous killers drove back and forth repeatedly over him as he lay sprawled on the road.
The driver of the car fled the scene on foot and is believed to have gotten into a getaway car.
Shocked neighbours who gathered outside the crime scene on Brookview Close after the brutal killing were too upset to talk.
But as Stephen's body lay at the scene, obscured from the public eye by two tents as a forensic team combed the area for evidence, the air of fear amongst locals was palpable.
"He was murdered," a man in his 30s said, refusing to say anything more out of fear of reprisals from the thugs capable of such a gruesome killing.