MOURNERS at the funeral of father-of-two John Deegan, who killed his partner before taking his own life, were asked to pray for his family as they faced "their darkest day" yesterday.
Hundreds attended the funeral Mass of Mr Deegan (53) at Kinnitty Church in Co Offaly, where parish priest Fr Michael O'Meara described his death and that of his partner Deirdre Keenan as "being beyond comprehension".
Mr Deegan killed Ms Keenan, a mother-of-six, before shooting himself in a Carlow B&B last Monday.
Prayers were also offered for Ms Keenan during the service, including one read by Mr Deegan's daughter.
The small church was filled for the service with mourners paying their respects to Mr Deegan's wife Eileen, daughters Miriam and Joanne and extended family both before and after the Mass.
Fr O'Meara asked the congregation to pray for two families who were struggling with grief after losing a loved one in such tragic circumstances.
He said: "Today is an especially dark day for the Deegan family and for the community."
Fr O'Meara added that the Deegan family had requested that Deirdre Keenan and her family be remembered at the service.
"The Deegan family have asked me to extend their heartfelt sympathies to the Keenan family in their hour of grief and they will be in our prayers today," he said.
Speaking of the deaths, Fr O'Meara added: "It goes beyond our comprehension, it's something we don't have words for but we leave it in the hands of God."
Fr Shay Casey, chaplain from Athlone IT, where Mr Deegan's daughter Miriam studies, also concelebrated the mass.
Mourners included Emma Gowing, the sister of murdered vet Catherine Gowing.
Mr Deegan was laid to rest in Kinnitty graveyard.