As the funeral of Jason Corbett, who died in a violent domestic incident at his home in the US, took place yesterday, it emerged he had planned to make a surprise visit home to Limerick on that very day with his two children to attend the 80th birthday of his father, John Corbett.
His sister, Tracey Lynch told hundreds of mourners at the Requiem Mass at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Janesboro, Limerick, of the family visit he never made.
Jason died on August 2 at his home in North Carolina. Molly Martens, the former au pair he married after the death of his first wife, Margaret (Mags) Fitzpatrick, and her father, Thomas Martens, a retired FBI agent, have been the only persons questioned in connection with Mr Corbett’s violent death.
Tracey Lynch and her husband, David Lynch, were named by Jason in a will he made after the death of Mags as legal guardians to their children Jack, 10, and eight-year-old Sarah, in the event of his death.
The Lynchs fought Molly Martens for custody of the children in a North Carolina court over the past three weeks and succeeded in getting Jack and Sarah back to Ireland last Saturday.
Tracey Lynch, in a eulogy at yesterday’s Mass which was read out on her behalf by her husband, told a packed congregation that the months ahead will be difficult as they wait for the truth to be told about the circumstances of Jason’s death.
She told of the abiding love he held for his first wife, Margaret (Mags), who died from an asthma attack in 2006.
She said: “After Mags died he lived his life with dignity, but was a lost soul and the light and spark was never fully replaced. If Jason couldn’t be here, I knew in my heart he wanted to be with Mags. Right up until he went to America [in 2011], he spent every single day at her grave. We would often pass and return an hour later he would still be there. A friend of ours told us recently that he would bring his lunch and read her the papers. She was his world and he felt blessed to have that kind of love in his life.
“Today, on the day he was due home with his children to Ireland [for his father’s 80th birthday] we have to bravely live without him. But I think I speak for everybody when I say our lives are better for having had him part of ours. He enriched our lives and nobody can take that away. The months ahead will be difficult as we wait for the truth to be told and we have faith that there is justice in this world.”
During the Mass, a Liverpool FC jersey was brought to the altar by Jack and an Irish jersey was brought by Sarah to symbolise their father’s love of sport.
The celebrant, Fr Pat O’Sullivan, who accompanied Jack and Sarah when they made a private visit to the funeral home on Tuesday where their father lay in repose, told mourners Jason’s two children were the most important people present.
“What truly matters today is that Jason is Jack and Sarah’s dad and he loved them very much. Funerals are both private and public events and all of us today join with the Corbett family and can see and sense their personal loss at the death of their beloved Jason.”
Recalling the candle-lit vigil outside Limerick City Hall, held as a mark of solidarity during the custody battle for Jack and Sarah, Fr O’Sullivan said those who attended showed the sense of unity in Limerick in support of the Corbett family.
Also present at the Mass were Marian and Michael Fitzpatrick from Pallaskenry, parents of Mags Corbett.
Jason was buried next to Mags in Castlemuntret cemetery.
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