Frail Casey at funeral of tragic road crash victim
Published 08/04/2010 | 05:00
RETIRED Bishop of Galway Eamon Casey yesterday took part in the funeral Mass for his grand-nephew who was killed in a freak road crash.
Bishop Casey travelled from his home in Co Galway to Barntown in Wexford to be with other family members who came together to mourn father-of-one Andrew Casey (23), who died in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Looking physically frail, the retired bishop (82) got around the church and adjoining graveyard with the assistance of a walking stick.
However, he delivered a passage of the Gospel of St Matthew and gave out Communion, as well as joining with local priest Fr John Carroll in the Eucharistic prayer.
Bishop Casey also joined with mourners in singing along with a recording of 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life', one of his grand-nephew's favourite songs, when it was played before the end of the ceremony at St Alphonsus's Church in Barntown, just outside Wexford town.
He heard his nephew -- and Andrew's dad Vincent -- tell the congregation that, while it was a sad day, "he, Andy, Skinny, was not a sad lad".
Bishop Casey has been living in Shanaglish near Gort in Co Galway since returning to Ireland from exile in South America and then England in 2006.
He resigned as Bishop of Galway in 1992 when news broke that he had fathered a son, Peter, with an American woman, Annie Murphy, in 1974 while working as a priest.
Andrew Casey -- known as 'Skinny' to friends and family -- was killed after his car broke down at 1.50am on Saturday in the Glynn area of Wexford.
After getting a taxi home, he cycled back with some tools with the intention of restarting it. However, another car struck Andrew's car and it, in turn, knocked him down. He died at the scene.
He is survived by parents Vincent and Dara, and brothers Daniel and Robert, as well as his 16-month-old son Dylan. Daniel drew tears and laughter during the Mass, as he recalled Andrew's too-short life. "He lived life to the full," he said.