Sunday 25 September 2016

Mourners for Tunisia victims told: ‘We live in a violent, broken world’

Brian McDonald

Published 04/07/2015 | 02:30

The funeral cortege of Laurence and Martina Hayes is accompanied by guards of honour from the Order of Malta and work colleagues of Mr Hayes
The funeral cortege of Laurence and Martina Hayes is accompanied by guards of honour from the Order of Malta and work colleagues of Mr Hayes
Sinead, daughter of Laurence and Martina Hayes, is consoled at their funeral
Bus Inspector Joe Cunningham joins a minute’s silence at the Bus Éireann in Broadstone, Dublin.
Laurence and Martina Hayes
The funeral mass of Larry and Martina Hayes (Photo: Steve Humphreys)
Minister Paschal Donohoe at the funeral mass of Larry and Martina Hayes (Photo: Steve Humphreys)
The funeral mass of Larry and Martina Hayes (Photo: Steve Humphreys)
The funeral mass of Larry and Martina Hayes (Photo: Steve Humphreys)
The funeral mass of Larry and Martina Hayes (Photo: Steve Humphreys)
The funeral mass of Larry and Martina Hayes (Photo: Steve Humphreys)
The funeral mass of Larry and Martina Hayes (Photo: Steve Humphreys)
The funeral mass of Larry and Martina Hayes (Photo: Steve Humphreys)
The funeral mass of Larry and Martina Hayes (Photo: Steve Humphreys)

It was in the words of Canon Liam Devine a "Calvary moment".

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There were no proper words that anyone could offer but silently the people of Ireland were walking up the hill, hoping to help the family of Larry and Martina Hayes carry their cross.

The community that gathered for the couple's funeral Mass yesterday was told that they died at "the hands of a crazed, brain-washed fanatic" by his killing rampage on a Tunisian beach had "stunned the entire nation into disbelief".

"It exposes us to the reality that we live in a very violent, broken world and it is getting smaller," Canon Devine said.

The remains of Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia cross the Shannon to arrive at the Church of St Peter and Paul where the funeral mass will take.
Pic Steve Humphreys
2nd July 2015.
The remains of Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia cross the Shannon to arrive at the Church of St Peter and Paul where the funeral mass will take. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
Crowds gather at Flynn's Funeral Home on The Strand along the banks of the Shannon for Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia who were reposing there. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
The remains of Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia cross the Shannon to arrive at the Church of St Peter and Paul where the funeral mass will take. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
The remains of Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia cross the Shannon to arrive at the Church of St Peter and Paul where the funeral mass will take. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
The remains of Larry and Martina Hayes are brought across the Shannon to the Church of St Peter and Paul, where their funeral mass will take place today. Photo: Steve Humphreys
The remains of Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia cross the Shannon to arrive at the Church of St Peter and Paul where the funeral mass will take. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
The remains of Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia leaving the funeral home before arriving at the Church of St Peter and Paul where the funeral mass will take. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
The remains of Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia arrive at the Church of St Peter and Paul where the funeral mass will take. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
The remains of Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia cross the Shannon to arrive at the Church of St Peter and Paul where the funeral mass will take. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
The remains of Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia cross the Shannon to arrive at the Church of St Peter and Paul where the funeral mass will take. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
Crowds gather at Flynn's Funeral Home on The Strand along the banks of the Shannon for Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia who were reposing there. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
Crowds gather at Flynn's Funeral Home on The Strand along the banks of the Shannon for Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia who were reposing there. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
Crowds gather at Flynn's Funeral Home on The Strand along the banks of the Shannon for Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia who were reposing there. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
Crowds gather at Flynn's Funeral Home on The Strand along the banks of the Shannon for Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia who were reposing there. In the backround is the Church of St Peter and Paul where the funeral mass will take place. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
Crowds gather at Flynn's Funeral Home on The Strand along the banks of the Shannon for Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia who were reposing there. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
Crowds gather at Flynn's Funeral Home on The Strand along the banks of the Shannon for Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia who were reposing there. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
Crowds gather at Flynn's Funeral Home on The Strand along the banks of the Shannon for Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia who were reposing there. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
Crowds gather at Flynn's Funeral Home on The Strand along the banks of the Shannon for Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia who were reposing there. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
Crowds gather at Flynn's Funeral Home on The Strand along the banks of the Shannon for Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia who were reposing there. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.
Crowds gather at Flynn's Funeral Home on The Strand along the banks of the Shannon for Larry and Martina Hayes tragically killed in Tunisia who were reposing there. Pic Steve Humphreys 2nd July 2015.

He said that tears of their only daughter Sinéad - whose 31st birthday was also yesterday - mingled with Irish, Tunisian, British, German and Belgian tears.

Sinéad was joined at Ss Peter and Paul's Church by family, friends, representatives of the Taoiseach and President, Larry's colleagues from Bus Éireann and hundreds of mourners who wanted to express their support.

In a strongly worded homily, Canon Devine tried to make sense of events but concluded that "nothing - no human experience of grief or loss - could have prepared a family or a community for the devastating news that filtered through to Athlone last weekend".

The violent deaths of Larry and Martina had left the entire community "shocked, stunned and devastated".

He said that for some time now the violence of misguided Isis terrorist fanatics have invaded our living rooms in a sanitised, sterilised way.

"We never thought it would trouble us here in Ireland, so far away. Today it invades our town in two coffins," Canon Devine told the large attendance that spilled outside the church.

Over 50 uniformed colleagues of Larry's from Bus Éireann formed a guard of honour, alongside Sinéad's colleagues from the Order of Malta.

Gifts brought to the altar included Larry's Bus Éireann tie and flowers from Martina's garden.

At the conclusion of Mass, Larry's brother, Michael Hayes thanked all who had helped the family through the difficult days of the last week.

He was particularly grateful to Declan Carty, the husband of Lorna Carty from Robinstown in Navan, Co Meath who was also shot dead in the terrorist attack in Sousse.

Mr Carty had come to have a few words with the family in person at Dublin airport as the remains came home and his gesture was deeply appreciated.

Ms Carty, who was a nurse and mother of two, will be laid to rest after Mass at the Church of the Assumption in Robinstown today.

Michael Hayes noted that a smiling photo of Larry and Martina had been published on the front page of the Irish Independent and that truly represented what they were - a happy couple who had been married for 32 years.

"They loved their new house, their life together and their darling daughter, Sinead. Ní fheicfimid a leithéid arís ann", he added to an ovation from the congregation.

Irish Independent

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