Brother Patrick is finally laid to rest

Family members lay the partial remains of Patrick Harkin to rest on Friday at the City Cemetery. (0204PG02)
Family members lay the partial remains of Patrick Harkin to rest on Friday at the City Cemetery. (0204PG02)

the family of murder victim Patrick Harkin have gathered together at the city cemetery as his remains were finally laid to rest on Friday.

The partial remains of Patrick Harkin’s body were released to his family this week, more than two years after he was brutally slain in his home by killer Paul Greatbanks (48) on February 20, 2011.

His siblings gathered at his graveside at the City Cemetery on Friday morning for a special ceremony to inter the partial remains with the rest of their brother’s body. His sister Lucia Barrow said her brother could “finally rest in peace”.

The body parts, including Mr Harkin’s “skull and brain tissue” were retained for forensic evidence to be used in the prosecution of Greatbanks, who had denied the murder of Mr Harkin until earlier this month.

The remains were handed over to Mr Harkin’s family members on Tuesday and were contained in a small wooden casket.

Lucia Barrow said her family was devastated by the death of their brother and “has never been the same since”.

She said the family will not have closure until the killer “rots in jail”.

Greatbanks was sentenced to life in prison after he admitted the murder of Patrick Harkin on March 4.

No details of the murder were given during the court sitting in Belfast.

The victim’s brother John Harkin said that while his family were relieved that Greatbanks had “unexpectedly pleaded guilty”, the family still needed answers. “

It is going through our heads and we do not know what happened or why he did it, and it is bothering every one of us because we do not think we will ever know.”

Mr Harkin said his brother was “a gentleman” who “harmed nobody and looked after everybody that came to his door”.

“The murder has devastated every one of us. I do not think we will ever get over it and I will never forgive him for what he has done,” he said.