Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Warrenpoint murder victim laid to rest

The funeral took place last week of Warrenpoint murder victim, Wayne Boylan, who was shot dead in a shocking gun attack in the seaside town on Friday evening, 18th January. 

The 37 year old father-of two died after being shot in the head at point blank range by two masked men armed with a shotgun who had burst into the home of a friend on the Lower Dromore Road in the town. 

Mr Boylan died at the scene, whilst a 21 year old woman, Alice Louise Burns, was critically injured. Ms Burns was showered in the face with shotgun pellets in the attack and was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital, where her condition is said to be “ill but stable”.

Canon John Kearney officiating, told mourners who gathered at St Peter’s Church in Warrenpoint on Wednesday for Mr Boylan’s Requiem Mass that “cruel violence” had robbed a family of a father and a friend and a young man had been “sent to an early grave”.

He told the congregation that too many people were waking “to face a day of emptiness in the wake of violence which has gatecrashed the life of this community”, comparing the murder to the days of the seventies and eighties “when we did not have enough days in any year to accommodate those who had died with their own anniversaries”.

Canon Kearney described Mr Boylan as someone who “loved life” and said his passing “will be a great sadness for many people.” The priest also revealed the young dad’s own tragic experience of loss. Having lost his father when he was a small child and his brother Peter when Mr Boylan was a teenager, his sister Helen also died 11 years ago and his mother Shirley died in 2014

Mr Boylan’s children, Niamh and Henry, carried symbols of their father’s life to the altar and his father-in-law paid tribute to the man he said “won the heart” of his daughter Saoirse and “he has brought two beautiful children into the world”.

“He is up there in the stars,” he added.

Following Requiem Mass, Mr Boylan was laid to rest in Warrenpoint Municipal Cemetery.

Police are continuing to appeal for information on the murder, which is believed to be drug-related.  They have confirmed that the getaway car used in the attack was later recovered in Dublin, and say they are working with An Garda Síochána in what has become a cross-border manhunt for the killers.

Whilst not stating a clear motive for the attack, police say Mr Boylan was known to police and was aware he was under threat in the days leading up to his murder.  Detectives have also dismissed speculation that the killing may have been a case of mistaken identity and it is believed Mr Boylan may have fallen foul of a criminal gang with links to the Republic.