President sends condolences to family

A MESSAGE of condolence from President Mary McAleese was sent to the family of Oliver Kearney, one of the two men killed in a Co Limerick road accident last Sunday, mourners at his funeral Mass heard yesterday.

Hundreds packed the church of John the Baptist in Hospital. Mourners were led by his mother Noreen and grandmother Eileen Cahill.

Oliver, 21, and his best friend, John Swords, 22, died instantly when their car struck a wall in Knocklong. They had earlier attended the christening of Mr Swords’s daughter, Alex and were going to investigate a reported break-in at Mr Swords’s home.

Oliver had offered to drive as he did not consume alcohol.

Fr Sean Fennelly in his homily at yesterday’s Mass asked: “How could it be that one so full of life, bursting with energy and one so full of enthusiasm, how could it all blink out and flicker and quench so early in life.”

Fr Fennelly, chaplain at the local John the Baptist Community School, said in photographs of Ollie as a child, he had trademark bright eyes and huge broad smile.

“He was wonderfully good natured,” he said

Fr Fennelly spoke of the very special relationship Oliver had with is mother, a widow.

Even when he was in Greece on holidays last year he wanted to come home after just three days, being a real home bird.

Fr Fennelly said: “People of Ollie’s age need to be aware how special life is and how ferociously fragile it is and to be careful and mind it.”

Oliver was a past pupil of John the Baptist Community School where his mother is a special needs assistance.

The school choir, under conductor Jim O’Farrell, sang the hymns at the Mass and Leaving Cert student Patricia Hehir was the soloist.

They were accompanied by organist Geraldine McNulty who is on the teaching staff at the school.

The burial took place at the local cemetery.

The funeral Mass of John Swords will take place today at John the Baptist Church.

He is survived by his partner, Nicki, their daughter Alex and his parents John and Eileen.

Oliver and John were life-long friends having grown up together at Galtee View in the village of Hospital.

John worked as an electrician and Oliver was due to qualify as a carpenter next summer with plans to move to Australia for a period.

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