Bar killing leaves ‘trail of devastation’ behind for family
The killing of a Limerick man in a crowded bar in Limerick was “brutal” and “futile”, his funeral Mass heard yesterday.
Patrick ‘Pa’ O’Connor, aged 24, was fatally stabbed by another man in Fitzgerald’s Bar, Thomondgate last Saturday.
Mr O’Connor died from his injuries in hospital in the early hours of Sunday.
On Wednesday, a 41-year old man, Mark Crawford, with an address at Distillery View, Thomondgate, was charged before Limerick District Court, with Mr O’Connor’s killing.
Gardaí have not disclosed why they believe Mr O’Connor was stabbed. The inci- took place in front of onlookers inside the pub.
At yesterday’s funeral Mass, Canon Donal McNamara, St Munchin’s Church, offered Mr O’Connor’s heartbroken family his “deepest heartfelt sympathies”.
He said the killing had “left a trail of devastation behind” for the victim’s family.
“This tragedy and brutal killing of such a young, and loveable man… yes, it’s futile, meaningless, and heartbreaking,” he said.
“No words of mine is either going to soften the blow or ease the pain, and unfortunately, there is no short or fast forwarding through bereavement.”
Fr McNamara said the community has been left “devastated and numbed” by Mr O’Connor’s killing.
“So many families have been left devastated, shattered, and torn apart as a redent sult of this horrendous crime,” said Fr McNamara.
“It’s unfair, its cruel and mind-boggling.”
Fr McNamara also told mourners how a number of killings in the community — including the killing of widowed pensioner Rose Hanrahan last December — have left their mark on him and the wider community.
The remains of Ms Hanrahan, aged 78, was found in her Thomondgate home after a suspected break-in at the property.
It is understood Ms Hanrahan had been strangled, and , seven months on, gardaí are still searching for the killer, who is believed to have travelled abroad after the killing.
“On occasions like this, I always find it difficult to speak,” said Fr McNamara. “You know, before Christmas last, we had a similar funeral experience here in the parish and that was of the late Rose Hanrahan… she was brutally murdered.
“Then, as now, families, the parish, in fact the city, is left in turmoil because of a brutal act of violence on individuals.
“I have no answers, no reasons, and no explanations.”
Fr McNamara described Mr O’Connor as “a lovely young man, caring, supportive, and extremely helpful”.
“He was a good family man,” said Fr McNamara. “By no means am I going to canonise him here today, because he was no saint.
“He was, I suppose like many of his equals today, footloose and fancy-free. As his mother said, he was a loveable rogue.”
The coffin bearing the remains of stabbing victim Patrick O’Connor leaves St Munchin’s Church following his funeral Mass.