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Saturday 16 December 2017

Brothers 'were loyal to each other to the end', funeral told

Inseparable: Brothers Daniel (left) and William McCarthy
Inseparable: Brothers Daniel (left) and William McCarthy

David Raleigh

Two elderly brothers found dead in tragic circumstances in their home were "loyal to each other to the end", their funeral was told.

William and Daniel McCarthy, who were both born deaf, were laid to rest in their native Glens, three miles west of Dingle, Co Kerry.

The inseparable siblings were discovered in their home in Bluebell, west Dublin, last Tuesday.

It's believed William (76) may have been dead weeks, while Daniel (73) overwhelmed by the loss of his older brother, passed away sometime last week.

Having been sent from their family home in the Kingdom at an early age to St Joseph's Home for Deaf Boys in Cabra, the brothers developed independent life skills through the use of their hands.

Read more: A love between two brothers that we could all learn from

A moulding of a pair of clasped hands sat between their two coffins inside St Mary's Church, Dingle. The plaque, which had previously rested in the brothers' Dublin house, symbolised their use of sign language to communicate and their talents as handymen.

"They were hard workers and could turn their hand to anything," Fr Joseph Begley told mourners.

"Today, we thank God for their lives and for the warmth of their presence - and for the loyalty they had for one another," he added.

A copy of the 'Kerryman' newspaper was also left on the altar to symbolise the brothers' "interest in everyday life".

A picture of a bright red cherry 1961 Ford Anglia, that had also belonged in their Dublin home, represented the love they had for their car, which they "kept polished and pristine right to the last".

The vehicle, it was heard, provided an important link for the siblings to live independently despite their hearing loss.

Fr Begley said the brothers shared a love of nature and their "beloved homestead" remained a constant draw for them, despite their busy lives in the capital.

"Last August and September they had their last visit here for about three or four weeks and, I'm told, after their visit there wasn't a blackberry left in Glens," he joked.

"They helped out on the farm, painting. But, most important of all, they shared beautiful times with their family. You all have cherished memories of those times."

John Patrick Doherty, National Chaplaincy for Deaf People, assisted by Catherine White, Kerry Deaf Resource Centre, signed the mass for Daniel and William's friends and fellow members of the Dublin and Kerry deaf communities.

Fr Begley told them nothing could have prepared them for the "understandable sadness and loneliness" at William and Daniel's deaths.

"Since we learned of the passing of Daniel and William this week, we tried to reach out; we tried to find words that might offer some comfort. Conscious of the family's sadness and loneliness, we come together this morning and pray with them," he said.

Fr Begley concluded: "It is autumn, and the leaves are withering and the flowers are fading. And the beauty and life of nature is surrendering itself to the winter, in the knowledge that, in spring, new life will burst forward . . . and it is with this fate we bid farewell to our friends, William and Daniel."

Irish Independent

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