Friday 2 December 2016

Funeral hears tribute by Kenneth O'Brien's dad: 'His tragic murder has affected all of us in the worst possible way'

Martin Grant

Published 04/02/2016 | 02:30

The coffin of Kenneth O’Brien is taken from the chuch of St. Matthew in Ballyfermot. Photo: Tony Gavin
The coffin of Kenneth O’Brien is taken from the chuch of St. Matthew in Ballyfermot. Photo: Tony Gavin
Kenneth O'Brien

The father of murder victim Kenneth O'Brien told mourners they are grateful to lay their son to rest after his cruel murder.

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More than 300 mourners gathered at St Matthew's Church in Ballyfermot, Dublin, yesterday morning to remember the father-of-one who was described as a "strikingly big, handsome man" who "could be a bit of a prankster".

Chief mourners at Mr O'Brien's funeral were his partner of 15 years, Eimear, and their little son Charlie (4), parents Gerry and Susan, siblings Lee and Jamie.

Mr O'Brien's torso was found in a suitcase in the Grand Canal at Ardclough, Co Kildare, almost three weeks ago on January 16.

Additional body parts were found in the canal after two weeks of extensive searches.

Parish priest Fr Joseph McDonald read a tribute written by Mr O'Brien's father on behalf of the family.

Gerry O'Brien said that Kenneth's tragic murder has "affected all of us in the worst possible way".

"The sudden loss of Kenneth and the circumstances surrounding his death are more than any parents, partner, son, family, friends or anyone should ever have to endure.

"We are so grateful to be in a position to be able to put our son to rest peacefully. We understand this has not always been the outcome in these situations.

"As a family we have comfort in knowing that Kenneth died knowing he was loved and he loved us.

"Our Kenneth was an intelligent, handsome, loving man and although we have lost him at this early stage of his life, all of us are thankful that he's been here for the past 33 years.

"Precious Kenneth . . . we are all so proud of you. We all love you now, always have and will forever."

The loving father added the O'Brien family are thankful for the support they have received from the gardaí and public.

He said there has been an "outpouring of support and comfort" from family, friends, work colleagues and strangers over the last three weeks.

"From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to thank you all," added Mr O'Brien.

Two symbols of the tragic JCB driver were brought to the altar by his partner and son - a photo of Charlie in his dad's digger and a baseball cap.

A simple floral tribute to 'dad', a bouquet in the shape of a digger, and family pictures - including Kenneth's beloved German Shepherd, Jake - were also laid out in his honour.

Fr McDonald told mourners gathered that Mr O'Brien's death was "cruel" and des-cribed the aftermath as "disrespectful".

Gardaí are continuing their investigation.

Irish Independent

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