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Friday 22 August 2014

Politicians from across parties unite to mourn former TD's son

Emma Jane Hade

Published 25/04/2014 | 02:30

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Charlie and Pauline O’Connor being comforted by former TD Pat Carey and TD John McGuinness
A family portrait at the funeral
Actor Tommy O'Neill

MOURNERS at the funeral of former TD Charlie O'Connor's son were told how the deceased was a talented, charming actor.

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Politicians from all sides of the divide gathered to show their support to the ex-Tallaght TD at his son Robert's funeral yesterday.

The 35-year-old was found dead in Rialto, Dublin, on Saturday evening, and was laid to rest after a funeral Mass in his native Tallaght.

Among the hundreds of mourners who filled the church to extend their sympathies to his heartbroken parents Charlie and Pauline were Junior Minister Brian Hayes and Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer.

Also present were stars from the acting world, including Tommy O'Neill, who was due to play a role in 'IRA: The Movie', the late actor's upcoming project.

Fr Pat McKinley in an emotional homily addressed the deceased's "struggles" and the "ups and downs" he experienced in his short life.

However, he said that Robert "bore with them as best he could", and that his greatest achievement was his young daughter Heather, who had a beautiful floral tribute for the man she affectionately called 'Dida'.

He was speaking in the same church where the deceased had received his First Communion and Confirmation as a child, and he recalled how he had a great love of animals when he was younger.

His father Charlie is a candidate in next month's local elections, and he said earlier this week that he believes his late son would have wanted him to remain on the election ticket.

While the cause of Robert's death has not yet been established, no foul play is suspected.

The father of one was an accomplished actor, and studied at the Gaiety School of Acting.

Irish Independent

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