Sunday 28 December 2014

Tragedy as son of former TD Charlie O'Connor dies aged 35

Published 21/04/2014 | 15:47

Robert O'Connor, son of TD Charlie O'Connor
Robert O'Connor, son of TD Charlie O'Connor
Former Tallaght TD Charlie O'Connor. Photo: Tom Burke

THE son of former Tallaght TD Charlie O’Connor has died at the age of 35.

Actor Robert O’Connor was found in a property in Rialto on Saturday night.

While the cause of his premature death remains unknown, his father said they are devastated at his loss.

“We are now going to have to bury our own son, which is every parent’s worst nightmare,” said Mr Connor, a former Fianna Fail TD.

Robert O’Connor had worked with his father in Dail Eireann but then studied at the Gaiety School of Acting and the Betty Ann Norton School of Drama.

He appeared in a number of productions, including the films, The Nixer, Rural Heat, and Portrait of a Zombie, and on stage in Down The Flats, Hatchet, and Give us a Break.

Charlie O’Connor was a popular TD in the Dublin South West constituency between 2002 and 2011 but lost his seat in the last General Election when Fianna Fail was heavily punished by voters.

In 2009, Mr O’Connor was angry when Robert was arrested on suspicion of impersonating a garda following a car chase in Dublin city centre involving a former PSNI car that had modified sirens.

Robert was a passenger in a Honda Civic that was spotted by gardai speeding near Lower Baggot Street.

Various items used by gardai were found inside, including fluorescent jackets, torches, first aid kits and latex gloves, giving the impression it was a police vehicle.

O'Connor's pal was charged with drink-driving and both men were questioned on suspicion of impersonating gardai.

A follow-up search of Charlie’s Tallaght home yielded an air rifle and an air pistol, and Mr O’Connor said that his son had got caught up in a prank and ended up in a “bad situation”.

Meanwhile, the funeral of the father of former Independent TD Patrick Nulty is to take place tomorrow at 11am in St Brigid’s Church in Blanchardstown.

Patrick Sr, from Corduff, Dublin, was a popular figure in the area.

Last month, Patrick Jr (31) resigned his seat following revelations that he sent inappropriate Facebook messages to a 17-year-old girl.

His father and mother Rose strongly defended their son in the wake of the controversy.

Mr Nulty apologised for his behaviour and said that the “message was sent while under the influence of alcohol”.

Evening Herald

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