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On-the-run Kinahan lieutenant Sean McGovern absent from dad’s funeral in Dublin

McGovern, who is wanted for murder, missed the mass at the Our Lady of Good Counsel Church on Mourne Road in Drimnagh.

Sean McGovern is wanted for murder

Sean McGovern

Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwan

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

On-the-run Kinahan associate Sean McGovern was notably absent from his dad Des’s funeral in Dublin this morning.

McGovern, who is wanted for murder, missed the mass at the Our Lady of Good Counsel Church on Mourne Road in Drimnagh.

He was mentioned in prayers for his late father who was remembered as a “good man, a decent Christian, a good-living man who did so much good in the course of the years”.

Near the end of the mass, the priest asked members of the family, including wife Terry, and sons Greg and Sean to come to the front of the church and put their hands on the coffin.

However, while the others did so, there was no sign of Sean McGovern who is wanted to face charges of murder and directing a criminal gang relating to the fatal shooting of Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwan in December 2016.

Gardaí also want to charge McGovern in relation to a failed plot to murder Hutch associate James 'Mago' Gately in Belfast in April 2017.

Detectives believe he played a "hands on" role in organising attacks between 2016 and 2017 but later fled to the Middle East.

From there he is suspected of continuing to play a vital part in the cartel's operation and was in charge of running the European drug network prior to the announcement of financial sanctions against the gang by the US Government.

Gardaí were expected to carry out discreet surveillance at the funeral as a warrant was issued for McGovern's arrest earlier this year, although he is currently believed to be based in the Middle East.

On Sunday, his father, Desmond McGovern, passed away at his Crumlin home.

Sean McGovern

At his funeral mass this morning, Fr Joe Kennedy referred to the turnout that had gathered for “a good man who has gone to God”.

He offered prayers to “Terry, Sean and Greg, and to all the family, his grandchildren, and his brothers Tommy, Brian, Eugene, Pago and Paul.

Fr Kennedy said he had known Des and his family, “mainly through Eugene, Pago and Paul who were students in a school in Sundrive many years ago when I was on the staff of that particular school.

“One great memory we have and we've often talked about this over the years, is we used to go to places like Anfield and Des’s beloved Old Trafford. He was a great Man United supporter as you know, and Leeds as well.

“My connection with the McGovern family goes back a long time,” he said.

“We've celebrated weddings, we’ve certainly celebrated christenings and the other day when my mobile phone rang and it was Paul on the other end, I sensed I wasn't going to get good news.

“And right enough he told me that his brother Des had passed away. He asked me on behalf of all the family could they come up here to Mourne Road to celebrate Des’s requiem mass.

"I'm truly honoured to do that because he was such a good man, a decent Christian, a good living man who did so much good in the course of the years.

“We’ll do everything right to celebrate his life and a special blessing on his beloved family whom he loved dearly.”

Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwan

Family friend Joe Keane introduced the gifts that were brought to the altar including a piece of turf to show Des’s love of nature, and a jersey celebrating his love of football and of youth. There was a photo of his grandchildren “who were very dear to Des’s heart and, celebrating his love of bread and jam and a mug of tea, a pot of jam”.

“And last but not least some glasses to celebrate Des’s love of reading,” he said.

Fr Kennedy added: “For you in particular to Terry Greg, and Sean, and his family, his grandchildren, we offer a special blessing.”

The Sunday World had earlier reported that detectives would monitor the funeral service to determine if McGovern (36) had returned for his father's funeral.

However, gardai believe it was "highly unlikely" that he would travel back to Dublin for fear of being detained.

One source said: "He is facing very serious charges and would be arrested on sight if he returned to Ireland. All the intelligence indicates that he has no intention of travelling back here because of this.

"While the probability is highly unlikely, gardai cannot take any chances and will be keeping a watching brief of proceedings. This will be done discreetly," the source added.

Speaking at a press conference in Dublin earlier this year Assistant Garda Commissioner John O'Driscoll, now retired, said they were appealing for information on McGovern's movements.

“Anyone who has knowledge of the whereabouts of Sean McGovern, who is subject to a European Arrest Warrant to contact An Garda Siochana.”

The 36-year-old Crumlin native was also injured at the Regency Hotel shooting in February 2016.

He suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach but was discharged from hospital several days later and refused to assist the garda probe.

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