Speaking Notes of Father Michael Murtagh for Requiem Mass of Kevin McKee RIP

14 Sep 2015


We are here to give Kevin McKee a Christian Burial. This is happening 43 years late but it is still so important that we do it. It is important for Kevin and for his family that they are given the chance to grieve publicly and acknowledge the awful tragedy his murder and secret burial was. We commend  Kevin to God’s loving mercy and do this today publicly and  solemnly, still trusting  that he went to God when his life was brutally taken 43 years ago.

We acknowledge Kevin and the memories of we hold dear……

We Name the things that might and been and we grieve the fact that they never happened………

We acknowledge the double loss of his young life and then the right to bury him.

We remind ourselves how this affected each of his family members, those living and those dead especially his late mother Mary.

We acknowledge the 43 years of pain, of wondering, of uncertainty and not knowing what had happened. We acknowledge that at times there were very few to turn to and it was a lonely road for them to travel.

We commend the family’s resilience and all that they have come through. Their perseverance along with that of so many others who’s loved ones disappeared have brought us all to this point in history. They have redeemed (brought some good out of) what was a very sad & tragic part of our country’s history.

We thank all who have helped to recover his body. We commend that process that has been put in place to recover the bodies of the disappeared (Independent Commission for the Location of Victim’s Remains),  those who provided information to it through its confidential channels and affirm how it is working. It is a part of our sometimes faltering Peace Process that is working, has proved itself to be robust and very confidential for those who have chosen to work with it. We encourage those who might have further information to recover the remaining 4 bodies to take that leap of faith and share what they have with the relevant confidential channels. The relief and closure it gives to family & loved ones can never be under estimated.

Finally we commend Kevin to God. There is no doubt God received him when his life was ended sadly & prematurely 43 years ago.  Today we remind ourselves of this and drawing from the deep wells of our faith, we commend Kevin to rest in peace eternally

Notes to Editors: 


  • General Information on the Funeral Ceremony:

The Requiem Mass for Mr Kevin McKee will be held at 11am in St Peter’s Cathedral, Belfast, BT12 4BU, followed by burial afterwards in Blaris Cemetery, Lisburn.

The principal celebrant for the funeral ceremony will be Fr Michael Murtagh, Redemptorists and formerly Rector of Clonard Monastery, Belfast. Speaking notes for his homily are provided below. Please note that this text is embargoed until 12noon.

  • Notes for Photographers / Journalist / TV and Radio:

Out of privacy and respect for the family and according to diocesan protocols, no photography or filming is allowed within St Peter’s Cathedral, Belfast or at the graveside in Blaris.

It will be possible to record sound from within the Church.

All media should make themselves known upon arrival to Fr Edward McGee.

Further information:  Fr Edward McGee +44 (O) 78111 44268

Down and Connor Press Office