Why no charges over son’s brutal murder?

By David Whelan

THE mother of a man murdered in cold blood and dumped in a North Belfast park has made an emotional appeal for information on his one-year anniversary.

Rosaleen Kearney spoke publicly for the first time since her son Kevin’s brutal murder as family and friends gathered at the spot where his body was found on October 8 last year.

The 46-year-old father of four had been returning from dropping his daughter off at school when he was shot dead close to his Dunmore Avenue home. His body was discovered in a sunken ditch in Alexandra Park 36 hours after he was reported missing.

Speaking to the North Belfast News Mrs Kearney criticised the police over their failure to convict anyone for her son’s murder and said that the family were not being passed vital information. To date, police have arrested 10 people, conducted 20 searches and interviewed more than 200 witnesses as part of the investigation but no one has been charged in relation to the murder.

“My family are still devastated and I am still heartbroken over the loss of Kevin,” said Mrs Kearney.

“We know that there was CCTV around the area but where are these people that police have arrested and why have they not been charged?

“At this stage the papers and the media know more than we do.”

At the time of Kevin’s death it was reported that a dissident republican group calling itself ‘The IRA’ claimed the killing and that Kevin was involved in the drugs trade, a claim his family denies. Yesterday (October 8), a fresh police appeal for witnesses described the enquiry as ‘challenging’.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway, said: “There is a potential drugs strand to this and there is a dissident republican strand. These two components have slowed the flow of information to the Major Investigation Team.”

On Wednesday morning, Father Martin Magill said prayers at the site where Kevin’s body was found before family and friends placed fresh flowers and let off balloons to mark the anniversary.

Mother of Kevin’s two daughters and long-term partner, Charlene Whelan, also made an emotional appeal for fresh information to be brought forward to police.

“My kids need closure,” she said.

“I can’t explain to them what happened to their daddy because I don’t know and until we find out the heartache only increases.

“Kevin was a human being and the way he was left for 36 hours in a park, you wouldn’t even treat a dog like that.

“If anyone, anywhere knows the slightest wee thing please come forward with it, it could make all the difference.

“If people don’t feel comfortable talking to the police, then they can talk to a priest, a solicitor or the family.”

Detectives investigating the case have appealed for anyone that may have seen or knows anything about a Vortex Scorpion bike in the area of Dunmore Avenue or Alexandra Park between 8am and 10am on the morning of the murder.

Detectives also need information about a silver Peugeot 406 car which was later found burnt out in the New Lodge. They want to hear from anyone who saw it in the Alexandra Avenue/Antrim Road area on the morning of Tuesday, October 8.

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