Mourners pay tribute to dad of tragic cruise teen
THE funeral of the father of schoolgirl Lynsey O'Brien, who fell to her death from a cruise ship seven years ago, yesterday heard how he never recovered from the loss of his daughter.
Paul O'Brien, 50, was found dead at his business premises in Ballymount, Dublin, last Sunday. There were no suspicious circumstances.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Mr O'Brien's brother-in-law Noel paid a moving tribute to the deceased at his funeral service at the St Pius X Church in Templeogue, Dublin, yesterday.
He said the family was still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.
"We have the physical remains of Paul here, but seven-and-a-half years ago, the O'Brien family suffered a catastrophic event which changed the lives of all the family, but particularly the life of Paul," he said.
"Paul couldn't cope with the unnatural loss of his lovely Lynsey. He teetered on the periphery of life for years. He couldn't deal with it and was just a shadow of the man. We had a psychological wreck of a man on our hands. No one could save him. The day that Lynsey died he sank deeper into the ocean, deeper than any of us will ever know."
Mr O'Brien's distraught son Dean and daughter Imelda also paid a heartfelt tribute to the man who was not only their father, but "our best friend".
More than 1,000 people attended the ceremony yesterday, joining Mr O'Brien's wife, Sandra, and children Kelley, Imelda and Dean and brothers Alan, John, Frank and Christy at the service.
There were prayers too for Lynsey, who was just 15 when she plunged to her death from a cruise ship during a family holiday in 2006.
Mr O'Brien was laid to rest at Mount Jerome cemetery after the funeral service.