Friday 26 May 2017

'Loyal to each other to the end' - Tragic brothers found dead in home laid to rest

David Raleigh

Two brothers found dead in tragic circumstances at their home in Dublin last week, were "loyal to each other to the end", it was heard at their funeral today.

William and Daniel McCarthy, who were both born deaf, were laid to rest in their native Glens, three miles west of Dingle, Co Kerry.

The life-long inseparable siblings were discovered in their home in Bluebell, West Dublin, last Tuesday. It's believed Liam (76), may have been dead a few weeks, while Daniel, (73), overwhelmed by the loss of his older brother, passed away sometime last week.

Utterly heartbroken, Daniel, was not able to raise the alarm, and, apparently writing in a note found in their home: "I don't know what to do."

Brothers Daniel and Liam McCarthy were both found dead at their Dublin home
Brothers Daniel and Liam McCarthy were both found dead at their Dublin home

Having been sent from their family home in the Kingdom, at an early age, to St Joseph's Home for Deaf Boys in Cabra, the brothers developed independent life skills through the use of their hands. A moulding of a pair of clasped hands sat between their two coffins inside St Mary's Church, Dingle - The plaque, which had previously rested in the brothers' Dublin house, symbolised their use of sign language to communicate, and their talents as handyman.

"They were hard workers and could turn their hand to anything," Fr Joseph Begley told mourners. "Today, we thank god for their lives, and for the warmth of their presence, and for the loyalty they had for one another," he added.

A copy of the Kerryman newspaper was also left on the altar to symbolise the brothers' "interest of everyday life". A picture of a bright red cherry 1961 Ford Anglia, that had also belonged in their Dublin home, represented the love they had for their car, which they "kept polished and pristine right to the last".

The vehicle, it was heard, provided an important link for the siblings to live independently despite their hearing loss.

Fr Begley said the brothers' shared a love of nature, and of their "beloved homestead", which set among a patchwork of green near around the foothills of Mount Brandon, remained a constant draw for them, despite their busy lives in the capital.

"Last August and September they had their last visit here for about three or four weeks, and I'm told, after their visit there wasn't a blackberry left in Glens," Fr Begley joked.

"They helped out on the farm, painting. But, most important of all, they shared beautiful times with their family. You all have cherished memories of those times."

John Patrick Doherty, National Chaplaincy for Deaf People, assisted by Catherine White, Kerry Deaf Resource Centre, signed the mass for Daniel and Liam's friends and fellow members of the Dublin and Kerry deaf communities. Fr Begley told them nothing could have prepared them for the "understandable sadness and loneliness" at Liam and Daniel's deaths.

"Since we learned of the passing of Daniel and William this week, we tried to reach out; we tried to find words that might offer some comfort. Conscious of the family's sadness and loneliness, we come together this morning and pray with them," he said.

Fr Begley concluded: "It is autumn, and the leaves are withering, and the flowers are fading, and, the beauty and life of nature is surrendering itself to the winter, in the knowledge that, in Spring, new life will burst forward...and it is with this fate we bid farewell to our friends, William and Daniel."

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