The peaceful atmosphere that filled the church in Castleknock regularly frequented by the 39-year-old Dubliner stood in contrast to the circumstances of his death.
Two bishops and 22 priests participated in the ceremony for the late journalist and researcher with the lay Catholic organisation, the Iona Institute.
The chief concelebrant, Bishop Brendan Leahy, who was assisted by the Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin, Raymond Field, told the packed congregation at the Church of Our Lady Mother of the Church that people had been left “distraught” in the two weeks since Tom’s death.
Bishop Leahy recalled Tom’s cheery banter and fast-moving mind from their first meeting in the 1990s.
The bishop spoke of Tom’s many friends, including the 1,052 he had on Facebook, and of a man who loved and promoted life, noting his work with the Iona Institute and the pro-life movement.
The church, where Tom served as a Eucharistic minister, is less than 200 metres from the O’Gorman family home where he had continued to live following the death of his parents, Ann and Tom.
It is also where his body was discovered on Jan 12. Yesterday, the detached house on Beech Park Avenue had all its blinds shut with the only sign of life a single light on outside the front door.
A 34-year-old Italian, Saverio Bellante, who was Tom’s tenant, has been charged with his murder.
Delivering the homily, Tom’s friend, Fr Stephen Kelly described Tom’s “sense of fun, his mimicry, his love of being with people, his honesty and truthfulness.”
The priest told mourners the shock and pain of their loss was hard to bear. He claimed the headlines and sound bites used to describe Tom’s passing and which tried to sum him up had sounded trivial.
“That is ironic because Tom was one of the least trivial people I know. He cared passionately about so many things,” said the priest.
“He cared about ideas, issues and concepts, because he cared about people and the kind of world children would grow up in and the kind of society people would grow old in.”
He recalled his friend’s love of sport, film andmusic, and in particular being an uncle to his two nephews, Aidan and James, and niece, Anna.
The chief mourners were Tom’s brother, Paul and sister, Catherine, who wept openly as they listened to their brother’s favourite song, Ma Toute Belle at the end of the mass.