Mum of tragic stab victim fails to attend funeral after falling ill the night before
SEVEN snow white doves were released at the graveside of Dean Fitzpatrick, as his partner and tiny son looked on in grief.
The father of one, who died after being stabbed last Saturday week, was remembered during his funeral for his "big smile", his energy and the love he had given his son, partner, family and friends.
Dean's mother, Audrey Fitzpatrick, was not present amongst the mourners at the Holy Trinity church in Donaghmede, north Dublin. She had become ill after attending the removal the previous evening.
However, later the ashen-faced mother and her partner, Dave Mahon, were spotted leaving their apartment at Northern Cross on the Malahide Road and getting into a taxi outside the nearby Hilton Hotel.
Asked if she intended to visit her son's grave, Audrey replied: "I don't know what plans I have at the moment. I just can't talk about it now.
"I wasn't feeling well this morning," she added.
Mr Mahon has admitted inflicting the fatal stab wound at his apartment at Northern Cross, Malahide Road, on May 25. He has claimed he had acted in self-defence.
Around 200 people attended the funeral, including Dean's girlfriend Sarah O'Rourke, and their son, Leon, who will be two in August. He was comforted by Dean's father Christopher and step-brother Alex, his aunt Chrissie, uncle Billy and extended family and friends.
Symbols of the young man's life were brought to the altar, including a baseball hat representing his love of fashion, headphones for his love of music, a miniature bicycle for his love of cycling, a small weight for his love of the gym and a cross representing his faith.
Parish priest Fr Eoin McCrystal acknowledged the devastation felt at Dean's death, commenting that he was a young man with so much of life ahead of him.
Dean was a proud father of Leon and doted on him, he said.
He said Dean had also experienced tragedy in his young life when his young sister Amy went missing over five years ago. "That must be the worst nightmare for any family, and Amy is very much in our prayers this day as well," he said.
Later, Dean's friend Kevin Harris paid tribute to him, recalling the "big smile on his face", and how full of energy he was.
He recalled the day that Dean came home from Spain with an "accent", having lived there with his mother and her partner. "It was great to have him back," he said.
He said Dean had remained great friends with his mother, Audrey, and had been "so proud" to be a father. He was also "a very good partner" to Sarah, he added.
Christopher Fitzpatrick carried his son's coffin from the church, assisted by family and close friends.
Seven white doves were released in a poignant tribute at the graveside at Fingal cemetery, bringing back memories of a previous occasion when white doves were released in memory of all the years Amy has been missing. Afterwards, an emotional Sarah planted a kiss on her little son's face.
And to the heartfelt words of 'Read All About It Part III' by Emeli Sande – one of his favourite songs, the remains of Dean Fitzpatrick were finally laid to rest.