Brian McKee, 24, died in hospital a week ago, a few hours after being stabbed in a row near his home in the Cork suburb of Mahon in the early hours of last Saturday morning.
Two men have since been charged with assault causing harm to the father-of-two, but there was no bitterness about the nature of his death during the emotional funeral Mass yesterday morning.
Pat McKee introduced himself and his wife Peggy to the hundreds of people who gathered at the Church of the Holy Cross in Mahon.
“We brought Brian into this world together and now we’re preparing to send him on his last journey,” he said.
Mr McKee thanked the medical staff of Cork University Hospital who tried to save Brian, the gardaí for their professionalism, and all those who had marked the spot where he fell with flowers.
“Irrespective of the tragedy here before us today, what we want to do for the next hour is put the troubles and stress and the worries that burden us every day, just put them aside for the next while, because none of it matters, none of it matters,” he said.
Mr McKee said there is no doubt in his mind or in the minds of his family that God intervened and took his son to heaven.
“We knew Brian had demons but now our son is free, he’s out there roaming the fields and fishing in the rivers,” he said.
“Living with Brian was like living with Davy Crockett. He loved small children and animals, children because they never told any lies or told you made-up stories, and animals because they weren’t people,” said Mr McKee.
“Materialism never had any attraction for him, keeping up with the Joneses and that kind of thing, they were concepts he couldn’t understand. Outside of his own troubles and his own demons, he would take the shirt off his back and give it to you,” Mr McKee said.
“His love for his children was total and so long as we have Katelyn and Chelsea, he will always be with us,” he said.
Fr Michael Kelleher said the last word should be left to Brian and a tape played the chorus of one of Brian McKee’s favourite songs, If You Get There Before I Do by Collin Raye: “And between now and then, until I see you again. I’ll be loving you, love me.”