Murders in Limerick have “left a trail of devastation behind”, Priest tells funeral mass

Patrick O'Connor funeral mass in Limerick this morning.

By David Raleigh

The murder of a young Limerick man in a crowded bar in Limerick last weekend was “brutal” and “futile”, his funeral mass heard today, Friday.

Patrick ‘Pa’ O’Connor, (24), was fatally stabbed by another man in Fitzgerald's Bar, Thomondgate, in Limerick, last Saturday.

Mr O’Connor died from his injuries in hospital in the early hours of last Sunday.

At today’s funeral mass, Canon Donal McNamara, St Munchin’s Church, offered Mr O’Connor’s heartbroken family his “deepest heartfelt sympathies”.

He said the killing had “left a trail of devastation behind” for the victim’s family.

“This tragedy and brutal killing of such a young, and loveable man…yes, it’s futile, meaningless, and heartbreaking.”

No words of mine is either going to soften the blow or ease the pain, and unfortunately, there is no short or fast forwarding through bereavement.

The late Patrick O'Connor

Fr McNamara said the local community - including the family of the murder accused - have been left “devastated and numbed” by the killing.

“So many families have been left devastated, shattered, and torn apart as a result of this horrendous crime,” he said.

“It's unfair, its cruel and mind-boggling.”

Fr McNamara also told mourners how a number of killings in the community - including the murder of widowed pensioner Rose Hanrahan last December, have left their mark on him and the wider community.

Ms Hanrahan, (78), was found in her Thomondgate home after a suspected break-in at the property.

Rose Hanrahan.

It's understood Ms Hanrahan had been strangled, and gardaí are, seven months on, still searching for the killer, who is believed to have travelled abroad after the killing.

“On occasions like this, I always find it difficult to speak…You know, before Christmas last, we had a similar funeral experience here in the Parish and that was of the late Rose Hanrahan…she (too) was brutally murdered,” Fr McNamara said.

“Then, as now, families, the Parish, in fact - the city, is left in turmoil because of a brutal act of violence on individuals.”

Fr McNamara told mourners: “I have no answers, no reasons, and no explanations.”

He described Mr O’Connor as “a lovely young man, caring, supportive, and extremely helpful”.

He was a good family man. By no means, am I going to canonise him here today, because he was no saint.

“He was, I suppose like many of his equals today, footloose and fancy-free.”

“As his mother said, he was a loveable rogue.”

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