Saturday 16 December 2017

Paddy Lyons's neighbours will bid sad farewell today to his 'gentle soul'

Local character: Ninety-year-old retired farmer Paddy Lyons, of Ballysaggart, Lismore, who was found dead in his cottage last Saturday and who will be buried at St Mary’s Church, Ballysaggart, tomorrow. Photo: Paddy Geoghegan
Local character: Ninety-year-old retired farmer Paddy Lyons, of Ballysaggart, Lismore, who was found dead in his cottage last Saturday and who will be buried at St Mary’s Church, Ballysaggart, tomorrow. Photo: Paddy Geoghegan
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A Waterford community has vowed to deliver "a dignified and fitting" funeral tribute to retired farmer Paddy Lyons (90), whose death horrified the nation.

Mr Lyons's funeral arrangements had been delayed for several days to allow distant relatives to attend from overseas.

His remains will be removed from St Carthage's Mortuary, in Lismore, to St Mary's Church, Ballysaggart, at 5.30pm today.

His Requiem Mass will be celebrated at 11am tomorrow.

Mr Lyons will be buried in the adjoining St Mary's Cemetery in a plot beside family members and lifelong Ballysaggart friends.

He was discovered dead at his home outside Lismore, in west Waterford, on February 25.

The cottage where Paddy Lyons was found slumped in a chair. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
The cottage where Paddy Lyons was found slumped in a chair. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Gardai launched a murder investigation after a post-mortem examination on Mr Lyons's remains at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) by assistant State pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster last Sunday.

The post-mortem examination was ordered by gardai, who were suspicious of marks to Mr Lyons's face and head.

The pensioner was discovered slumped in a chair at his farmhouse home at 5pm last Saturday after locals became concerned about him when he didn't attend a funeral in the village.

Ross Outram (26) was charged with the murder of Mr Lyons before Dungarvan District Court last Wednesday.

Outram, of Ferryland, Waterford Road, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, was remanded in custody and will appear again before the district court next Wednesday.

Read more: 'I might as well take your picture' - The poignant photograph of Paddy Lyons (90) now at centre of murder investigation

Mr Lyons's remains had been retained at UHW until it was clear that no further pathology or forensic tests were required.

While Mr Outram was entitled to seek a second opinion on the post-mortem examination, he did not exercise this right.

The pensioner's funeral arrangements were then delayed to allow relatives to travel to Ireland from overseas, including from the US. Mr Lyons was the only child of John and Nora Lyons, who both died many years ago. He was unmarried.

He had farmed a 30-acre holding at Loughleagh, outside Ballysaggart, and lived a simple life in his farmhouse cottage.

He did not have a car and depended on neighbours and friends for lifts to get his pension, food and attend social events. Mr Lyons was a familiar figure and took a great interest in local social events, GAA matches, music and drama celebrations and farming rallies.

Tributes to Mr Lyons will be mounted by Ballysaggart GAA, Ballysaggart Community Alert and other groups.

"We want to be able to offer Paddy a dignified and fitting send-off," Councillor Declan Doocey said.

"He was a lovely character.

"People are still shocked and heartbroken at what happened. Now, they just want to show solidarity with Paddy's relatives, neighbours and friends."

Sunday Independent

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