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Family's grief as they bid Tom farewell

MOURNERS at the removal of murder victim Tom O'Gorman were told he was a devoted uncle who "lit up" around his niece and nephews.

The religious researcher's devastated siblings Catherine and Paul were among hundreds of mourners at last night's service, where Tom's violent death was described as a "shocking why without an answer".

Tom's family were deeply distressed throughout the service at Our Lady Mother of the Church in his native Castleknock in Dublin.

His funeral took place at the church this morning at 11.30am


Chief celebrant Fr John McNerney said they wanted it to be "a beautiful celebration for Tom".

A copy of the Gospels was laid on the coffin, with Fr McNerney explaining that Tom had "cherished" the Gospels.

He had also lived for the realisation of the words "Father, may they all be one" especially where his family were concerned, including his young niece and nephews to whom he was a devoted godfather.

"He lit up around children," Fr McNerney added.

While Tom's family and community are in "total shock" at this heartbreak, he said that in the midst of this horror, they had caught a glimpse of the inheritance he had left behind with the sentiment: "Father forgive them, they know not what they do."

Tom's brother and sister were deeply overcome by the beautiful French vocals of his favourite song, Ma Toute Belle. They sat huddled in their grief, with Catherine's head on Paul's shoulder as the peaceful words of love washed over them.

Tom himself would have suggested that they "see behind the horror" of his death, Fr McNerney said.

A poem written in tribute to Tom was read out and began: "What makes it so unbearable is the manner of your leaving. An unspeakable act of momentary madness took our brave knight away."

Amongst those who attended were Senator Ronan Mullen, Bishop Ray Field of Dublin, Martin Long of the Catholic Communications Office and commentator John Waters.

The coffin was carried into the church by friends of the deceased, including David Quinn, Tom's colleague at the Iona Institute.

Nine priests were on the altar, with many more amongst the congregation.