Bar killing leaves ‘trail of dev­as­ta­tion’ be­hind for fam­ily

Irish Examiner - - News - David Raleigh

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.

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