Thursday 23 February 2017

Prayers at funeral for son held over mum's stab death

Brian McDonald

THE young man charged in connection with the violent death of his mother at the weekend was remembered "in a special way" at her funeral yesterday.

Hundreds of mourners crowded into the Sacred Heart Church in Roscommon to pay their final respects to Ann Henry, who died after being repeatedly stabbed at a house she had been renting in the town.

Ms Henry (49), a separated mother of two sons, was found collapsed at the Spinney, a secluded housing estate, just after lunchtime on Saturday.

Despite emergency medical attention on the roadside from a local doctor and team of paramedics, she was pronounced dead an hour later.

Her son Paul (25) was arrested at the scene and later charged with assault causing his mother harm.

At a court appearance in Galway on Monday, a garda said Paul Henry had indicated he would be pleading not guilty to the charge.

Fr Eugene McLoughlin told mourners yesterday the events of the last few days had been like a nightmare for Ms Henry's family and for the local community. Dark clouds had been hanging over Roscommon since news of the tragedy had broken, he said.

Tragedy

"Ireland's great win over Australia in the rugby was soon forgotten. The upcoming All Ireland final hardly featured in conversation... small groups gathered and spoke in hushed voices of the terrible tragedy and their thoughts were with Ann's family and friends," Fr McLoughlin said.

"Since then, there has been a huge outpouring of emotion."

The priest described her as "a loving and caring woman", but sadly her hopes and dreams had been cut short.

He offered the sympathy and support of everyone to her husband Phelim, son Phelim Jr, her brother Joe and sister Margaret, adding: "And we remember Paul in a special way in the prayers at our Mass today."

Fr McLoughlin noted it was never right to compare one death with another, "but I think it's fair to say that Ann's death is one of the saddest and most tragic that one can imagine, because of the circumstances".

Prayers were also said for all those who were left to mourn Ms Henry's passing.

The remains were not taken from the church for some time as crowds queued to express their sympathy in person to members of Ms Henry's family.

Burial took place afterwards at St Coman's cemetery.

Irish Independent

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