Funeral of Frankie Dunne told death was 'wrong, pointless and without justification'

The brutal death of Frankie Dunne, whose dismembered body was found dumped behind a derelict house in Cork just over a week ago, is incomprehensible, wrong, pointless and without justification, mourners at his funeral Mass were told.

Funeral of Frankie Dunne told death was 'wrong, pointless and without justification'

The brutal death of Frankie Dunne, whose dismembered body was found dumped behind a derelict house in Cork just over a week ago, is incomprehensible, wrong, pointless and without justification, mourners at his funeral Mass were told.

Fr Gregory Howard, the parish priest of Knocknaheeny/Hollyhill parish, told the congregation at St Mary’s on the Hill Church in Knocknaheeny that the devastation, havoc and pain that has been thrust on those who loved Mr Dunne is “truly unbearable and indescribable”.

And he urged people to learn from the tragedy and show more sympathy and kindness to the next homeless person they meet. His homily was applauded.

Mr Dunne, 64, originally from Churchfield Avenue but who had been living in a Cork Simon-run supported housing unit on Boreenmanna Road since last July, was found dead behind the disused Castlegreina House on Boreenmanna Road on December 28 last. He had been beaten before his head and arms were cut off.

He is mourned by his adult children, John, Catherine and Chlóe, his siblings, Michael, Susie, Theresa, Monica and Catherine, his four grandchildren, nephews, nieces, his close friend, Joan, and his extended family.

There was a strong family involvement in the Mass, with readings, prayers and hymns read or sung by nieces and nephews.

Fr Howard said Mr Dunne was a relation of the famous Dunne brothers, who busked regularly outside the former Roche’s Stores on St Patrick’s St in Cork in the 1980s, and a recording of his son, John, singing a moving version of the classic ballad, Grace, was played over the church speakers.

Among the gifts brought to the altar were a bookie's slip, a blanket to symbolise the warmth Mr Dunne received from Cork Simon, a Scrabble board game and a music CD.

In a tribute from the altar, his niece Yvonne said the family will always cherish the time they spent with their uncle on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

She said he loved “traditional music, a joke and the craic”, spending time with family, and cooking dishes like tripe and drisheen, coddle, and black bean sauce.

She said he had lived with about 10 different family members over the years, in Cork, Limerick and England, and was also part of the Simon community.

And she recalled how one night when she was a child, he stayed with her family and sent her to bed early while allowing her brothers to watch a horror movie on TV.

“I crept in and hid behind the chair to watch the film hoping he wouldn’t catch me,” she said.

“He waited until the scariest part of the movie and put his eyelids above his eyes and frightened the life out of the lot of us - he got a great kick out of that one.”

She also recited a poem by her friend, Deirdre O’Keeffe, which described how Mr Dunne had lived his life his own way.

“Life wasn’t easy for him, there were times he found it tough, but always found the strength to pick himself up,” she said.

Another niece, Breda, described her godfather as a witty and warm character who liked a few simple pleasures "like fags, a bet, listening to traditional Irish music and having a drink or two".

Fr Howard said the family is grateful for the many messages of sympathy and the support they have received, and he thanked those who had helped or were kind to Frankie over the years.

Mr Dunne was buried in St Michael’s Cemetery in Blackrock later.

Meanwhile, the garda investigation into the murder is continuing. No arrests have been made yet.

The family’s GoFundMe campaign for homeless charities has raised just over €4,500.

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