The death of a Dublin father-of-two who was attacked after a night out in Tallaght was a "senseless act of savagery", mourners at his funeral were told yesterday.
Vincent Parsons (34), from Melrose Lawns in Clondalkin, was found with severe head injuries on the night of Saturday, August 24, in Killinarden, Tallaght.
The injuries he suffered were so severe that gardai took him straight to Tallaght Hospital in a patrol car instead of waiting for an ambulance.
He died from his injuries two days later.
The Church of the Transfiguration in Bawnogue was packed to capacity for the funeral of Mr Parsons.
"Just about everyone I've spoken to in the past few days around Vincent's death have been utterly shocked," said Fr Patrick Coughlan.
"We can only imagine the chaos it has caused his wife and young family, his mother and his brother and sisters.
"What shocks is the suddenness of his going. He is here and then he is suddenly gone. Also, the tragic, horrible circumstances of his death and the devastation left behind for those who love him."
He said that when a young person dies it is like a bolt out of the blue, and when that young person is a husband and a father of two young children then it is more than a bolt from the blue.
"And when we add in the circumstances surrounding his death it leaves us frightened and confused, and it simply does not make sense. The only response is a kind of numbness and a helplessness," added Fr Coughlan.
"It takes hours and days and weeks and months and years to raise a child to the point where they can marry and raise a family and make their way in the world.
"And it took just a few minutes to see all those years of love and commitment and sacrifice wiped out in a senseless act of savagery, leaving a young wife, young children, his mother and siblings in absolute freefall.
"How do you make sense of that?
"By all accounts, Vincent was a family man. When I asked his brother Danny did he have any hobbies, he told me Vincent's hobby was his family.
"Now I don't think you can get any higher praise than that," he added.
Mr Parsons' son Gerard brought his dad's welding helmet to the altar as a symbol of his life, as well as a back-scratcher.
His daughter Jade carried a photograph of the family.
"Vincent was clearly a loving partner and a dedicated dad to two beautiful, innocent children, clearly a hard worker who provided for his family. He liked to work out in the gym and he was sociable," Fr Coughlan said.
At the end of the mass, a relative, Gerard, spoke on behalf of the family, telling mourners that everyone learned from Mr Parsons and looked up to him.
"Whenever life tested him he didn't get thick and give up, he found a way to keep everyone happy and move on," he said.
"He was one of the nicest and most honest men you could ever meet. He was the same man to us all, and life was too short for Vincent. Life can be cruel at times, and this is one of those times.
"To say he'll be missed is an understatement. We are all devastated and heartbroken."
Chief mourners at the funeral were Mr Parsons' wife Claire, daughter Jade, son Gerard, mother Josie, aunt Mary, brother Danny, sisters Marian, Celine, Mary, Elaine and Leighanne.
After the mass, his remains were brought to Newlands Cross cemetery for burial.
A 24-year old man was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of murder and detained at Tallaght Garda Station.
He was later released without charge and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Gardai are appealing for witnesses.