independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Funeral applause as authorities blamed for fishermen taking risks

Mourners behind three hearses making their way to the church. Funeral of brothers Paul, Shane and Kenneth Bolger. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Mourners behind three hearses making their way to the church. Funeral of brothers Paul, Shane and Kenneth Bolger. Picture: Caroline Quinn

MOURNERS at the funeral of three Bolger brothers killed while out lobster fishing last week broke into a spontaneous round of applause after a member of the grief stricken family blamed successive governments for forcing fishermen to take bigger risks in smaller boats.

The devastating  denunciation from the pulpit was made at the funeral mass of Shane, Kenny and Paul Bolger by Colm O'Neill, who is married to Paula, twin sister of Paul.

He  said successive government actions caused them to move into areas of greater risk; "to fish in smaller boats and to fish for stocks that were not restricted."

"Paul, Shane and Kenny were not only brothers to each other, they were partners in business, they were best best friends.

They were buddies and even when there was an argument they would be best friends the next morning," he said.

Shane Bolger(44) who was married to Lucy had a teenage son Calum with whom he had been out fishing just last week.

The couple also had a daughter-five year old Martha Kay.

Paul Bolger was 49 years and lived  in nearby Cheekpoint with his partner Patricia and their 12 year-old daughter Rachel.

Paul was a twin and his sister Paula who runs a cash and carry business came  home from Amsterdam with her husband Colm after being told the heartbreaking news of the  loss of three of her five brothers.

Kenny  Bolger (47) was single and lived with his mother Margaret.

As well as Paul's  twin Paula the three men are also survived by another sister Lynda and two brothers- Anthony and Michael.

After the funeral mass at St John The Baptist Church in Crooke, the coffins of Kenneth and Shane were laid to rest side by side.

Immediately afterwards Paul was laid to rest at nearby Faithlegg cemetery.

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