Mourners at the funeral of a west Belfast murder victim have been told his killers “set themselves up as judge, jury and executioner”.
Daniel Murray was gunned down last Monday night after being lured to Lady Street by a bogus call for takeaway food.
The 55-year-old delivery driver had survived a previous attempt on his life when he was shot in the face at his home last May.
At his funeral service in Holy Trinity, Turf Lodge, Fr Brendan Smyth said Mr Murray’s life was “snuffed out in the blink of an eye”.
He said: “No doubt with no concern for his children and the impact that his murder would have upon them, who have had to try to come to terms with the horrific nature of his death, with everyone watching on from the sidelines.
“They have been added to the very long list of those who suffer at the hands of those who have no care for justice, those who seek to settle things by the barrel of a gun.
“And they say we live in a more civilised and peaceful time in our city’s, our country’s history, I think not.”
Mr Murray was one of three people targeted by gunmen during a spate of paramilitary-style attacks in the city over a 24-hour period.
Around 100 people attended a rally on the Grosvenor Road last Wednesday – close to where Mr Murray was shot dead – to protest about the ongoing paramilitary activity.
Fr Smyth said the Gospel was very clear on the eternal punishment awaiting those who ignore its teachings, and that the gunmen would have to justify their actions before God some day.
“He will be the just judge as they give account of their lives and what they have done, for the hurt, pain and sorrow they have forced upon others. For with murder there is no justification.”
Fr Smyth also said the paramilitary gunmen had “a total disregard for the sanctity of human life,” and added: “This is the second time in as many months that I have had to stand at the door of this church and received the remains of someone who was murdered.
“And I fear for the impact it will have on those who come here day in and day out to seek comfort and consolation and peace of mind as they strive to live each day in the light of the teachings of the Gospel.
“They too must be affected by how violent this city has become. The consequences of Danny’s death will therefore ripple out for a long time to come.
“How long must we wait before the lessons are learnt, that what so ever you do to the least of these my brothers and sisters you do to me.”