'Philip came into this world in his parents' arms, and he left this world in his parents arms,' mourners attending the funeral of Philip Doyle heard at St Fergal's Church in Bray last Saturday morning.
A native of Oldcourt on Boghall Road in Bray, Philip (33) died on the morning of Sunday, January 26, at his home in Ramsgate, Gorey, after suffering apparent stab wounds.
'We are all aware of the circumstances of Philip's passing, which makes this morning all the more tragic for everyone involved,' said Father Larry Behan.
'As we gather together this morning we are doing what seems to be impossible,' he said. 'To try to make sense out of the utterly senseless, to try to find some measure of comfort in the middle of pain and hurt, to find the right words to say when really words may seem to fail us, and to express and celebrate our faith in the shadow of the tragic circumstances of Philip's passing.'
Fr Behan said that the past days had been tremendously difficult for those who knew Philip.
'As much as everyone here in the church has wanted to help, we have all felt too small to offer what we most deeply want for all of you - that is comfort and peace.
'The peace and the comfort that we so desperately wish for all of you is beyond our power to give. In the face of this tragedy there are no magic words from me or from anyone else to make your pain, hurt and despair disappear.
'All we are doing is simply praying here together this morning that our presence with you will give you a little bit of comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your grief and in the pain that you are feeling.'
Fr Behan said that the full church bore witness to how much Philip was loved.
'His family have told me he was a tremendously gifted mechanic,' said the priest.
'He loved his gym, he loved his football, he loved his MMA, he loved all sporting activities. He enjoyed a few bets and a few pints with his friends but he wasn't a man for big long nights out. He was happier being at home in the evening.
'He worked hard, and he loved his kids.'
'He was one of those people who had that great ability to always know the right thing to say whenever you asked him his advice,' said Fr Behan.
Philip's friend Ed also addressed the congregation as Mass concluded.
'We grew up together as brothers, we loved each other, and were always there for each other,' he said. 'So many stories and not a bad memory among them.
'You were wild and fearless growing up, something I always admired about you,' he said. 'Even you realised you needed grounding and to work on things that troubled you,' he said. 'One of the main reasons for this was becoming a father. You wanted to be more. You wanted to be the best version of you. You became an amazing father to three beautiful kids who you worshipped.'
He said that while it was so cruel to lose Philip, he would never be forgotten. 'Our memories will pass to your children, and hopefully some day your children's children.'
Philip's sister Emma, who had travelled from Australia, said that while everyone was aware what a great person he was, she would tell them anyway.
'He was the best, most amazing brother I could ask for,' she said. 'He was always there for me from day one. He was always there for us all. He wasn't only our brother, he was part of us, that will now always be missing, said Emma. 'He would be so proud of my brother Shane right now for how strong he is.'
She said that Philip had always been his sister Rachel's rock, and her best friend.
'Not only was he a son to my dad, he was his best friend, his world, his everything.
'He was my ma's first born son. They were so different, yet so alike, and also there for each other,' said Emma.
'He was in his mammy and daddy's arms when he first came into this world, and he was also in their arms when he left,' she said.
She spoke about Philip having been 'a bit of a wild child' in younger years, who made a few mistakes. 'But he made up for all his mistakes by what an amazing dad he is. Every day he worked hard for his kids,' she said. 'They were his whole world.'
Following the funeral Mass, there was a cremation ceremony at Mount Jerome.
Philip is survived by his children, Hannah, Brodie and Braxson, his parents Jackie and David, his brother Shane, his sisters Rachel and Emma and his many relatives and friends.