01 January 2020 08:37
One of two people stabbed to death in Belfast last week has been laid to rest. Joseph Dutton, 47, died on December 23 alongside his partner, 37-year-old Frances Murray. Their bodies were found in a flat in Kinnaird Close, north Belfast. Mr Dutton is survived by his parents Paddy and Nell, siblings Patrick, Michael, Stephen, Christina and David, and his two children Ordhan and Caolan. His funeral mass took place today at St Oliver Plunkett Church and was attended by around 100 people.
The funeral notice said he was "deeply regretted by his sorrowing sister, brothers, sons, ex partner and entire family circle." Ms Murray's funeral took place on Monday and she was later buried in Tullylish Cemetery, Lawrencetown, Gilford, Co Down. Her family had asked for donations to be made in lieu of flowers to St Patrick's Soup Kitchen. Councillor Paul McCusker told the PA news agency at the time of their deaths: "Just a few days before Christmas this is the worst kind of news for any family. "Within the local community there is anger and sadness." The SDLP representative said the couple were both "characters" and well-known in the area. Detectives investigating the deaths have charged 35-year-old Steven McBrine, also of Kinnaird Close, with two counts of murder. The murder inquiry began after police were called to the address by a member of the public. A number of residents in the apartment complex were evacuated as the major investigation got under way. Detectives said they believe some sort of altercation took place in the flat where the bodies of Ms Murray and Mr Dutton were discovered. The man charged with murdering the couple has "made full admissions," a court heard on December 26. Defence solicitor Denis Moloney described the case as a "great tragedy" involving friends who had been drinking together.