Sunday 22 July 2018

Killing of 'loveable rogue' in crowded bar was 'brutal' and 'futile', mourners told

The coffin bearing stabbing victim Patrick ‘Pa’ O’Connor is carried from St Munchin’s Church in Limerick following the funeral Mass for the 24-year-old yesterday
The coffin bearing stabbing victim Patrick ‘Pa’ O’Connor is carried from St Munchin’s Church in Limerick following the funeral Mass for the 24-year-old yesterday

David Raleigh

The killing of a young Limerick man in a crowded bar last weekend was "brutal" and "futile", his funeral Mass heard.

Patrick 'Pa' O'Connor (24) was fatally stabbed in Fitzgerald's Bar, Thomondgate, Limerick, last Saturday.

Mr O'Connor died from his injuries in hospital in the early hours of last Sunday.

A 41-year old man, Mark Crawford, with an address at Distillery View, Thomondgate, was charged before Limerick District Court with Mr O'Connor's killing.

Gardaí have not disclosed why they believe Mr O'Connor was stabbed. The shocking incident took place in front of onlookers inside the pub.

At his funeral Mass yesterday at St Munchin's Church, Canon Donal McNamara offered Mr O'Connor's heartbroken family his "deepest heartfelt sympathies".

Patrick (Pa) O'Connor
Patrick (Pa) O'Connor

He said the killing had "left a trail of devastation behind" for the victim's family.

Fr McNamara said it was a "tragedy" and a "brutal" killing of such a young and loveable man. "It's futile, meaningless, and heartbreaking," he said.

"No words of mine are either going to soften the blow or ease the pain, and unfortunately, there is no short cut or fast forwarding through bereavement."

Fr McNamara said the local community has been left "devastated and numbed" by the killing.

"So many families have been left devastated, shattered and torn apart as a result of this horrendous crime," he said.

Fr McNamara also told mourners how a number of killings in the community - including the killing of widowed pensioner Rose Hanrahan last December - have left their mark on him and the wider community.

Ms Hanrahan (78), was found in her Thomondgate home after a suspected break-in at the property.

It's understood Ms Hanrahan had been strangled, and gardaí are, seven months on, still searching for the killer who is believed to have travelled abroad after the incident.

"On occasions like this, I always find it difficult to speak…You know, before Christmas, we had a similar funeral experience here in the parish and that was of the late Rose Hanrahan - she (too) was brutally killed," Fr McNamara said.

"Then, as now, families, the parish, in fact the city, is left in turmoil because of a brutal act of violence on individuals."

Fr McNamara told mourners: "I have no answers, no reasons, and no explanations."

He described Mr O'Connor as "a lovely young man, caring, supportive, and extremely helpful".

"He was a good family man. By no means am I going to canonise him here today, because he was no saint.

"He was, I suppose like many of his equals today, footloose and fancy free.

"As his mother said, he was a loveable rogue."

Irish Independent

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