A BACKPACKER spent his lifetime "trying to do the right thing" and died while trying to help someone, his funeral was told.
Hundreds of mourners packed the church of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Killiney, Co Dublin, yesterday for the funeral of David Greene (30) from Cabinteely.
It was the church where the young man had made his Holy Communion and his Confirmation, Cabinteely parish priest Fr Arthur O'Neill told the congregation.
"What can we say to you in the front seat that hurt so much, I don't know," he told David's grieving parents, Aidan and Catherine, and his brothers Luke and Aidan. "The circumstances of our coming here should not be."
He said Mr Greene had lost his life "after 30 years of trying to do the right thing, to extend help".
However, he said he had spoken with the family, who greatly appreciated the support given them by mourners in carrying their "extra- heavy burden".
Mr Greene died two weeks after he was brutally attacked on August 26 in the backpackers' hostel where he worked, in the St Kilda suburb of Melbourne.
He and friend David Byas, also from Cabinteely, were allegedly attacked after coming to the aid of a woman.
Mr Byas (28) emerged from a coma last week but is still in a serious condition in the Alfred hospital's rehabilitation unit in Melbourne. Among the congregation yesterday were distressed friends who had travelled from Melbourne.
Mr Byas was remembered in the Mass with a prayer that he makes a full recovery. Mourners wept at a moving reflection which spoke of the family's grief at having only a picture left of their loved one, a "frozen piece of time".
After Mass, the coffin was carried from the church for burial at Shanganagh Cemetery in Shankill, Co Dublin.