The death of a 62-year-old man who died after finding intruders in his home will not be in vain, as it has raised a national awareness of the fear elderly people are living with in rural communities in Ireland, a priest hassaid.
John O’Donoghue collapsed and died outside his house at Upper Toomaline, Doon, Co Limerick, shortly before 2pm last Thursday after he returned home to discover his house had been ransacked by thieves.
An autopsy carried out by Marie Cassidy, the State pathologist, confirmed that the 62-year old bachelor suffered a heart attack.
Gardaí at the scene this week.
Two cousins appeared before a special sitting of Limerick District Court last Saturday charged with entering Mr O’Donoghue’s home as trespassers and stealing a ladies gold watch valued at €200 and £30 in sterling.
Addressing mourners at Doon Parish Church on Monday evening, last night, Fr Tony Ryan, who administered the last rites to Mr O’Donoghue after he collapsed outside his home, said: “I honestly believe that he hasnot died in vain.
“Although he did not deserve his life to end as it did, there is as we know a great consciousness now in our community, not just here but throughout rural Ireland, of the support we need to give to each other in looking out for each other, because so many elderly people are living in fear.”
Among the chief mourners at Mr O’Donoghue’s removal was his sister Christina, a retired nurse who was with her brother when he died.
Fr Ryan said the entire community was saddened and upset by the tragic death of the “gifted local carpenter, whose workmanship is on display in homes and club houses across the parish”.
“He was a kind and gentle person, quiet and inoffensive who went about his work in a most professional fashion,” said Fr Ryan.
Mr O’Donoghue is also survived by his other sisters, Mary and Sheila and his brother Seamus.
The 62-year-old will be buried today after 11.30am funeral Mass in Doon Parish Church.
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