Wednesday 25 April 2018

'Our Karl did not deserve this' - Heartbroken parents at funeral of stab victim

Karl Haugh
Karl Haugh

Gordon Deegan

The parents of Karl Haugh (25) told mourners yesterday that for their son to be taken the way he was “is the hardest part of all”.

At a packed St Senan’s Church in Kilkee yesterday, Bridget and Joseph Haugh said that “our Karl did not deserve this - what child does?”

On Sunday morning, Karl died after being stabbed in the back during an incident near his home at the Marian Estate in Kilkee Co Clare and in a letter by Karl’s parents read out yesterday at his funeral mass, they stated “when you took our child away on that terrible night - his father’s soul and my own soul were taken as well”.

Karl is the second child of the Haughs to die in tragic circumstances and yesterday he was buried alongside his 16 year old sister, Stacey at Lisdeen cemetery outside Kilkee.

Eleven year old Karl in October 2003 was only given a 20pc chance of living and underwent heart surgery in a crash that claimed the life of Stacey and her friend and neighbour, Lorna Mahoney (13).

Kilkee parish priest, Fr Gerry Kenny told the congregation yesterday that young Karl returned to St Senan’s Church a few months after the crash in April 2004 to celebrate his Confirmation there with his parents.

In their letter read out mourning the loss of their only surviving child, Bridget and Joseph said to Karl: “You are with Stacey now, please give her a kiss from us. Oh God, it is not fair.”

The two said: “Karl, we will always love you. Our house will never be the same without you."

The Haughs described Karl “as a strong willed person - he knew what he wanted in life”.

Bridget said: “As strong as you all think Karl was, he was a mammy’s boy, he was my boy. He was our boy and we loved him so much. Karl had his ups and downs and myself and his father were always there for him.”

Fr Kenny said that Bridget wanted people to remember Karl “as a loveable man and a loveable son”.

Only in the last number of months, Karl became a father for the first time to baby Evelyn and his friend, Christopher told mourners that Karl told him on his recent 25th birthday that Evelyn was the best birthday present he ever got.

In his homily, Fr Kenny appealed for calm in the aftermath of Karl’s tragic death.

He said: “It is not a time for reaching out or reacting in anger and neither is is a time for despair. It is a time to be gentle with one another.”

Fr Kenny said: “This is a time of great pain since the violent and tragic death of Karl last Sunday morning. It is a time of deep anguish, confusion, anger and darkness.”

Mementos of Karl’s life were brought up to the altar at the end of the mass and they included a graduation photo of Karl from a health and fitness course he recently completed; a model of a miniature motorbike symbolising his love for his bike; a music speaker for his love of music that had earlier played Drake’s One Dance and boxing gloves and dumb-bells showing Karl’s love of fitness.

The gifts also included a symbol of the excitement and welcome for baby Evelyn.

Karl’s coffin was draped in the blue and white colours of Kilkee GAA club and a group of Karl’s motorcycle friends drove for a time behind the hearse as Karl's remains were brought through the streets of the seaside resort on their journey to Lisdeen cemetery.

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