Wednesday 22 November 2017

Slain journalist was 'full of fun and decency', vigil is told

Candles surrounding a photograph of Tom O'Gorman at memorial prayer vigil in St Teressa's Church.
Candles surrounding a photograph of Tom O'Gorman at memorial prayer vigil in St Teressa's Church.

FRIENDS of murder victim Tom O'Gorman were told to "pray for the strength to forgive" at a memorial vigil last night.

The 39-year-old was remembered as a man of humour, personal decency and greatness of soul.

St Teresa's Church in Clarendon Street in Dublin was in semi-darkness for the service as dozens of candles flickered around the altar.

Joe McCarroll, chairman of the Pro-life Campaign, spoke of Mr O'Gorman as a campaigner on social, legal and moral issues who had great warmth as "a people person".

Mr McCarroll delivered his words of tribute in front of a packed church.

He referred to his friend's violent death at his home in Castleknock, Dublin at the weekend as an act "full of horror" and "unspeakable".

Mr O'Gorman (39), a researcher with the Iona Institute and a firm supporter of the Pro-life Campaign in his newspaper articles, died on Sunday. Funeral details have not yet been finalised.

Italian native Saverio Bellante was brought before Dublin District Court on Monday charged with the murder.

Among the prayers of the faithful were words of appreciation for the emergency services, the gardai and the authorities.

Prayers were also offered for Mr O'Gorman's brother Paul and sister Catherine and his extended family. The victim's friend Fr Stephen Kelly led the prayers.

Mr McCarroll, speaking from the altar, said Mr O'Gorman was "a people person par excellence".

"Tom was always bumping into people everywhere. He would create life-long impressions ... at the heart of Tom's life was to do good," he said.

He also paid tribute to his sense of humour and his gift of satirising through "hilarious exaggeration".

"Tom was full of fun, personal decency and greatness of soul," he said.

Fr Kelly told the congregation of the very real nature of Tom's religious faith.

"He was a man who believed deeply in forgiveness and followed closely Jesus's words on forgiveness. People must pray for the strength to forgive," said Fr Kelly.

The priest spoke of the many causes that his friend had worked hard for.

Fr Kelly declared: "The ways of God are not the ways of the world. All too often, the ways of the world are not the ways of God."

Alan O'Keeffe

Irish Independent

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