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Saturday 24 August 2019

'No words can ease the pain' - hundreds gather for funeral of hit-and-run victim Gerard Whyte

The funeral of Hit and Run Victim Gerard Whyte at The Church of The Virgin Mary, BAllymun today.
PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
The funeral of Hit and Run Victim Gerard Whyte at The Church of The Virgin Mary, BAllymun today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

Gerard Whyte who died in an alleged hit-and-run accident “lived life to the full,” his funeral mass was told today.

Hundreds of people gathered for 10 o’clock mass at the Church of the Virgin Mary on the Shangan Road in Ballymun to say a heartbreaking farewell to the young man.

Gerard Whyte: Friends described him as “hilarious and so kind”
Gerard Whyte: Friends described him as “hilarious and so kind”

The mourners were led by his parents Julie and Gerard and sister Emma, his grandmother Eileen and extended family. The congregation was also made up of his many friends.

Known as both Gerry and Jeff to his friends, Fr Declan Blake said that his family were thrown “into a terrible darkness with the terrible news of Gerard’s sudden, tragic, untimely death.”

The funeral of Hit and Run Victim Gerard Whyte at The Church of The Virgin Mary, BAllymun today.
PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
The funeral of Hit and Run Victim Gerard Whyte at The Church of The Virgin Mary, BAllymun today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN

“No words can ease the pain, the emptiness, and the loneliness at such a very difficult time.”

Among the items that were brought to the altar at the beginning of mass were a Liverpool jersey, as he was a staunch supporter of the team, his christening candle, a football and a CD, to represent his love of rap music.

Fr Blake said he had baptised Gerard 21 years ago in Finglas West, when he was just starting out in the parish there, and he lit his christening candle at the mass today.

“Gerard was a person who really loved life, and he lived it to the full,” said Fr Blake.

The funeral of Hit and Run Victim Gerard Whyte at The Church of The Virgin Mary, BAllymun today.
PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
The funeral of Hit and Run Victim Gerard Whyte at The Church of The Virgin Mary, BAllymun today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN

He said that Gerard was blessed with his parents, and his sister, and “experienced great love throughout his life.” He made great friends at secondary school, and kept up his great friendships with the lads.

“He had a great sense of humour. He would always make you laugh. He was a character. He was a great one for one liners as well. He loved football.”

He enjoyed going to Croke Park as a child. “His grandad was very involved down in Croke Park and there were very many happy memories down there too.”

“Gerry loved his family,” he said. Addressing his parents and sister, Fr Blake said: “The great love you had for Gerard, and he had for you, that love will continue, because we know that love never comes to an end.”

On behalf of the family, Fr Blake said thanked everyone for their support, and those who travelled to be with them from the US, Australia and from all over Ireland for the funeral mass today.

They also thanked gardai, the staff at Beaumont Hospital “who did their utmost for Gerard” as well as their neighbours.

Gerard died last Friday in a road traffic incident involving a HGV, which occurred on the Swords Road at the Collins Avenue Junction at approximately 12.20am.

A 50-year-old man has appeared in court in connection with the incident. 

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