community in shock | 

Funerals of Christopher Mooney and man suspected of murdering him take place

Mooney (60), a convicted sex offender, was killed at his home outside Castleblayney early last Thursday morning


The funerals have taken place of Christopher Mooney and the man suspected of murdering him at his home in Co Monaghan last week.

Mooney (60), a convicted sex offender, was killed at his home outside Castleblayney early last Thursday morning.

The man suspected of attacking him, Kieran Hamill, then died after being hit by a car 3km away from the scene. His funeral took place this morning across the Border in Armagh.

At Mr Mooney’s funeral in Broomfield, Castleblayney, Fr Michael Daly said a prayer for Mr Hamill and his family after praying for Mr Mooney.

He said the community is in shock at the untimely and tragic death of Mr Mooney, and that his family feels a sense of shock, sadness and loss.

“Today we remember and pray for Christopher, who was always, above all, a family person. He was always there for them for any chores to be done, or DIY, and it would always be done efficiently,” he said, adding that Mr Mooney always made himself available if something needed to be done or if some support was needed.

He was also described as a man who supported local football teams and a person of faith, often to be seen in the church. As recently as the last Sunday of November, he attended a special remembrance mass for local people who have died.

Fr Daly said that in the struggles of life we can be assured that God understands us, understands all our weakness, and all the struggles we have in life.

He said Mr Mooney’s family are broken-hearted and coming to terms with the loss of their brother, and need strength and support at this difficult time.

“May God be merciful to Christopher and grand him eternal peace,” he said.

After the funeral mass at St Patrick’s Church, Mr Mooney’s remains were taken the short distance to the nearby cemetery for burial.

There was a discreet garda presence at the church and the cemetery during the funeral.

Mourners follow the remains of murder victim Christopher Mooney as they are taken from his funeral mass in St Patrick's Church, Broomfield, Co Monaghan. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Mr Mooney, from Knockreagh Lower, Broomfield, Castleblayney, was predeceased by his father Danny and mother Bridget.

He is survived by his sister Mary and brother Peter, and wider family.

His brother Peter came upon the attack on his brother at 6.30am last Thursday and was injured as the suspect fled the scene.

Christopher Mooney had been jailed for sexual offences against a male juvenile 19 years ago and had been shunned by many in the local community as a result. Around eight years ago he was targeted in his home in an apparent vigilante attack after two men broke into his home.

Half an hour after the fatal attack on Thursday, Armagh man Kieran Hamill (37) was knocked down and killed 3km away while crossing Ballynacarry Bridge between Castleblayney and Dundalk.

The dominant line of inquiry is that Hamill attacked Mooney and was disturbed in doing so when Mooney’s brother arrived. Christopher Mooney’s brother was able to give gardaí a description of the killer, sources have said.

It is then believed Hamill fled the scene on foot and was knocked down during his attempt to escape across the border.

But forensic confirmation will be needed before gardaí can say definitively that Hamill was the man who attacked Mooney.

Sources have said there is no evidence that Mooney had sexually assaulted Hamill as a minor, but as part of the investigation detectives will examine if Hamill had been suffering mental health difficulties in recent months.

He had come to the attention of gardaí in the last 12 to 18 months, including in relation to violent offences.

He was charged with affray at an address in Castleblayney last May and was to appear in court on that charge later this month.

He was also before the courts charged with assault causing harm to a female and threatening a woman’s property on December 26 last year.

He was due to appear in court again on those charges in February next year.

Gardaí continue to appeal for witnesses, and for anyone who was in the Broomfield area between 5am and 6.45am on Thursday December 1 to come forward.

They can contact Castleblayney garda station on 042 9740668 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666111.

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