Sunday 18 August 2019

Guard of honour for murdered Cork dad

The coffin of Aidan O’Driscoll is draped with a flag and given a guard of honour by his GAA club at his funeral near Blackpool, Cork.
The coffin of Aidan O’Driscoll is draped with a flag and given a guard of honour by his GAA club at his funeral near Blackpool, Cork.

Ralph Riegel

A former Real IRA commander killed despite having turned his life around in recent years thanks to "the love of his life" was given a guard of honour by his GAA club.

Mark O'Driscoll paid a moving tribute to his brother, Aidan (37), who was shot and killed in an execution-style attack in Blackpool, Cork on December 7.

Aidan's fiancée Marion Ryan
Aidan's fiancée Marion Ryan

Aidan O'Driscoll's Requiem Mass heard a moving eulogy from Mark who claimed his brother, who he referred to as 'Big Fella', had never been happier since he met and got engaged to Marion Ryan. The couple were to get married in 2017.

Mr O'Driscoll said that his brother had "a lot of bad press" over recent times.

But he said Aidan had worked very hard for a new life with his fiancée.

"In the last years I had never seen him so happy or working so hard," he said.

Aidan O'Driscoll
Aidan O'Driscoll

"That was all down to one person - the love of his life, Marion. You will always be a part of our family.

"Aidan will never be forgotten."

He thanked the pedestrians who had tried to comfort his injured brother, saying it was "a great comfort" to the family knowing Aidan had someone trying to help him.

Aidan O'Driscoll, nicknamed 'The Beast', had survived a punishment shooting three years ago after being expelled from the dissident Republican group.

Last week he was shot from behind as he walked along the footpath on the Old Commons Road near the entrance to Orchard Court.

Fr John O'Donovan told the congregation at St Oliver's Church off Dublin Hill that he never forgot a Requiem Mass he said as a young priest in west Belfast for a shooting victim.

"The futility of violence in all its shapes and forms, but especially the loss of human life and the pain it leaves behind," he said.

The mourners were led by his fiancée, Marion, his mother, Nuala, and his siblings, Mark, Nicola and Ciara.

Mr O'Driscoll has two children, Saoirse and Chulann, from a previous relationship.

His passion for sport was reflected by emblems from Delaney's GAA club, as well as those of Glenthorn Celtic and Quinlan's FC whom he helped to coach. His coffin was draped in the Delaney's GAA flag and club members formed a guard of honour.

The offertory gifts of a family picture, a pair of football boots and a betting slip were brought to the altar by his siblings.

His nickname, 'The Beast', was earned from his ferociously competitive nature while playing for Delaney's.

Irish Independent

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