‘Nobody deserves to die like this, nobody’

NOBODY deserves to die in the way murdered taxi driver Michael Healy did, but this is not the time for anger, mourners were told at his funeral Mass.

Many of his fellow drivers from Cork city were among more than 400 people who packed out St Lachteen’s Church in the small village of Grenagh near Blarney.

The 62-year-old father-of-two was found dead with serious head injuries last Wednesday at the flat in the St Luke’s area of the city’s northside where he lived, but he had grown up in the parish where he was buried yesterday.

“He attended this church and received the sacraments here, and now we come to say a sad farewell. Sad, because the reality is that Michael shouldn’t be here today, he didn’t want to be here, and neither do any of us,” parish priest Fr Liam Kelleher said.

He told Mr Healy’s family and friends: “We must in all truth and in all reality know that nobody deserves to have their life ended like this, nobody. Our prayer and our wish is that Michael is now happy with the Lord,” Fr Kelleher said.

Although people find it hard to get their heads around the nature of his death, he said, they must try to cope.

“There must be a huge amount of anger, a huge amount of questions, but this is not the day for anger. We must try to put that aside for a moment and try to trust in God, trust in the goodness of God, and see some light in the darkness that has enveloped you and all the community that Michael worked with,” he said.

Earlier, dozens of taxis drove through the quiet village about two miles from the Cork-Mallow road, as their owners came to pay their last respects to a colleague who had been living and working in the city for more than a decade. He was described last week as a quiet and gentle man who would never harm anybody.

Flowers were laid on the grass inside the church gate as mourners arrived, including one from his brother who made the grim discovery of his body last Wednesday.

“God bless Mike. From his brokenhearted and loving brother, Dermot,” read the card attached.

Following that discovery, gardaí arrested a man on Friday night and Lloyd Buckley of Flat F, 3 Rocksprings Terrace, St Luke’s, Cork was charged with his murder at Cork District Court last Saturday.

Among the gifts offered during the funeral Mass was Mr Healy’s Cork jersey, which his son, Declan, brought to the altar as a sign of his love of sport and Cork GAA in particular. His other son Paul brought a music CD, signifying his love of music, particularly country singer Declan Nurney.

After the Mass, the coffin was carried from the church with a single red rose on top, as Mr Healy’s remains were carried on his final journey to the nearby cemetery.

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