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Saturday 18 November 2017

Kerry community is 'shattered' after death of 'devoted' farmer

Relatives of the late Anthony O'Mahony (74) carry a picture of him from the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Ballyduff, Co Kerry Photo: Mark Condren
Relatives of the late Anthony O'Mahony (74) carry a picture of him from the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Ballyduff, Co Kerry Photo: Mark Condren
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A North Kerry farmer whose death sparked a Garda murder investigation was hailed as hard-working, intelligent and totally devoted to his land and family.

Mourners were told at the Requiem Mass of Anthony O'Mahony (74) that his death on Tuesday had "devastated and shattered" the tightknit parish of Ballyduff and Causeway in north Kerry.

Anthony O'Mahony's brother Seamas and his wife Margaret follow the coffin Photo: Mark Condren
Anthony O'Mahony's brother Seamas and his wife Margaret follow the coffin Photo: Mark Condren

Mr O'Mahony died from multiple injuries after the car in which he was travelling was in collision with a heavy agricultural machine known as a teleporter, just metres from his farm at Rattoo, some 2km outside Ballyduff village.

Gardaí launched a murder investigation within two hours.

Father Brendan Walsh told around 250 mourners at the Church of St Peter and St Paul it had been a very difficult week for everyone locally but he vowed the strength of the community would shine through.

"There has been no laughter or joy in this parish since last Tuesday morning. That dreadful event has shattered and broken the lives of two families and so many others.

"But I have lived amongst you, my friends, for nine years," he said.

"One of the reasons that I love being here is the tremendous sense of support you get.

"There is so much goodness here - there is so much kindness and there is so much care about the people of Causeway and Ballyduff.

"Over the last nine years I have been involved in a number of tragedies in this parish and every single time without fail I have never ceased to admire the strength and the support of the community.

"When it is so badly needed, people show their true colours.

"They rally around those who have lost a loved one.

"They are there to support and care for them and I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that those of you who have lost Anthony and grieve for him so much, will experience that very same love and support in the days, weeks and months ahead."

Fr Walsh said Mr O'Mahony had been totally devoted to his interests in life - his family, his community, his farming and Kerry sport.

The offertory gifts reflected the bachelor's life interests and included a sack of grain, a copy of 'The Farmer's Weekly' and an Irish newspaper to reflect his life-long love of horseracing.

The mourners were led by Mr O'Mahony's siblings Seamas and Angela, his sister-in-law Margaret, brother-in-law Christy, nephews James and Sean and nieces Ann-Marie and Ann.

Most live in nearby Causeway.

Seamas operates a successful concrete pre-cast business while Angela's family are involved in farming and potato production.

A large number of extended relatives from the O'Mahony and Houlihan families were also present. Mr O'Mahony was a bachelor and had no children.

"When we remember Anthony, we remember a very hard-working, intelligent man who loved to farm and took great pride in his tillage projects," Fr Walsh said.

"In his early years he produced tomatoes at his glass houses at Ardoughter for the retail industry.

"He read and updated himself as to how to improve and produce top-quality vegetables and grain.

"What he produced was known and sought the length and breadth of Ireland and indeed far beyond.

"He was a man who loved sport and loved to discuss it. He was a horseracing man and had the odd flutter and studied the form at all times.

"I have no doubt he would have loved to discuss the retirement of 'The Gooch' this week and the upcoming match (National Football League final) between Kerry and Dublin."

Following Mass Mr O'Mahony was buried in Rahela Cemetery.

Irish Independent

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