Irish News

Wednesday 23 July 2014

'He loved life and promoted life and shared life' mourners told at Tom's funeral

Grieving brother and sister lead mourners at Tom O'Gorman's funeral mass

Published 24/01/2014|14:01

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Tom O'Gorman's brother Paul and sister Catherine walk behind the coffin with the body of Tom O'Gorman, inset, after the funeral mass in Church of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock today

THE grief-stricken brother and sister of Tom O'Gorman were overcome with emotion when his favourite French song was played during his funeral mass.

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Catherine and Paul O'Gorman sobbed as the beautiful lyrics of Ma Toute Belle - which is based on the Song of Songs  - was sung.

Hundreds of mourners packed Our Lady Mother of hte church in Castleknock in Dublin today for the mass, concelebrated by 22 priests and two bishops.

Amongst those who attended were Minister Leo Varadkar, editor of the Irish Catholic newspaper, Michael O'Kelly and members of the Iona Institute including David Quinn, Breda O'Brien and Patricia Casey.

Mourners heard of Tom's "sense of fun, his love of mimicry, his honesty and truthfulness."

"Never worldly," Tom had never seemed jealous of others and had many interests including sport - particularly rugby - music and films and had loved to discuss these loves with friends.

He had also been a proud uncle to nephews Aidan and James and niece Anna, the congregation heard.

Chief celebrant, Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick said it had been two weeks since the news of the shocking death of Mr O'Gorman had left them "distraught."

He commented on his first meeting with Mr O'Gorman in the 1990s, when his "cheery banter and his fast-moving mind" had worked to establish a relationship that was "real and sincere."

Expressing his condolences to the family and friends of the deceased, he said it was only now that they could realise what a gift Tom has been and will continue to be.

Tom had had 1,052 Facebook friends and had many day to day personal one-on-one relations.

"He loved life and promoted life and shared life," Bishop Leahy said.

Fr Stephen Kelly, a close friend of Tom O'Gorman, said the 'sordid' headlines and soundbites following his death had sounded "so trivial," commenting: "Tom was one of the least trivial people I know."

The religious researcher had cared about "ideas, issues and concepts" because he cared about people, Fr Kelly said.

"He cared about the society children would grow up in and people would get old in," he said.

Tom's siblings had steeled themselves to take part in the requiem mass, with Paul O'Gorman giving the first reading in a strong voice while sister, Catherine read a prayer of the faithful for the "ideals that Tom had promoted," of unity, peace and respect for the dignity of the human person."

Another reading was read by Cora Sherlock of the Pro Life Campaign.

As the peaceful French lyrics favourite song, Ma Toute Belle rang out in church, Paul and Catherine became visibly distraught.

Afterwards, the coffin was taken for burial at the nearby Castleknock church yard.

By Nicola Anderson

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