independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Son asks mourners to pray for brother (20) accused of murdering their mother

Patrick Dunne outside court yesterday and, inset, his mother Susan

THE son of a woman who died violently in her rural home has asked mourners to pray for his brother, who has been accused of her killing.

Anthony Sheehy told mourners at a prayer service for his mother Susan Dunne (62) at the Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah's Witnesses in Tralee, Co Kerry, that his mother was a woman of faith.

"That faith demands we rebuild relationships and forgive each other for the harsh words said and forgive ourselves for the words we never said," he said.

The mother of three was found dead at the home she shared with her autistic son Patrick in Ballinageragh, Lixnaw, Co Kerry, last Wednesday.

Patrick Dunne (20) has been charged with her murder and is in custody at the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum, Dublin.

He is due to appear before Listowel District Court again tomorrow morning.

Gordon Foale, co-ordinator of the Body of Elders of the Tralee Congregation, spoke of Ms Dunne as a loyal friend, devoted mother and cherished member of the Jehovah's Witness community since her baptism in 2000.

He said she had devoted the last 20 years of her life to her son and had done her best to make his life the best it could be. "They were inseparable," he said.

Mr Foale said because of Patrick's condition, she came in contact with other parents in a similar situation and in recent years had worked tirelessly as chairperson of the Kerry Autism Action group.

"She was always at the end of the phone and would drop everything if she was needed to give help or advice to other parents of children with autism," he said.

He said Susan had experienced a lot of heartache in her life and she and her siblings had been placed in foster care in London when their own parents were unable to look after them.

He said she had always thought she had been abandoned but discovered a letter that had been written by her father to the authorities in the 1950s to get Susan and her siblings back.

COMFORT

"That was great comfort to her that she was wanted by her family," Mr Foale said.

Two parents from the Kerry Autism Group carried the coffin from the hearse to the entrance of the Kingdom Hall.

The chief mourners were her son Anthony and her husband Bill Dunne.

Her remains will be cremated at a private ceremony in accordance with her wishes.

Irish Independent

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