Wednesday 26 June 2019

'Families have been left shattered and torn apart - funeral held for 'lovable rogue' fatally stabbed in busy pub

Patrick O'Connor (inset) was remembered as a 'good family man' at his funeral today
Patrick O'Connor (inset) was remembered as a 'good family man' at his funeral today

David Raleigh

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

Patrick ‘Pa’ O’Connor (24) was fatally stabbed in Fitzgerald’s Bar, Thomondgate, in 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 today, Canon Donal McNamara, St Munchin’s Church, offered Mr O’Connor’s heartbroken family his “deepest heartfelt sympathies”.

Patrick O'Connor
Patrick 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. No words of mine is either going to soften the blow or ease the pain, and unfortunately, there is no short or fast forwarding through bereavement,” he said.

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 killing.

“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 killied,” 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 lovable rogue.”

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