THE funeral of Thomas Dooley, the 43-year-old father of seven who was fatally assaulted in Kerry last week, took place in Tullamore, Co Offaly today (Thursday October 13).
Mr Dooley, who lived in Killarney, had strong family ties to Tullamore and following the funeral mass at the town’s Church of the Assumption, interment took place at Clonminch Cemetery.
The man’s remains were carried at shoulder height from O’Reilly’s funeral home on Harbor Street into the church and then a horse-drawn carriage brought the coffin to the cemetery.
On the road to Clonminch, the remains were removed from the hearse and then carried on the men’s shoulders to the cemetery and burial site.
To the cheers of the mourners, the coffin was lifted several times as it moved through the cemetery.
Among the pallbearers for the church and cemetery was Michael Dooley, a man from Tullamore, a first cousin of the deceased.
He said it was a very sad time for Siobhan and her family.
Speaking after the funeral, he said: ‘He was a decent old man, he would never hurt or hurt anyone in his life. He showed people and everyone the height of respect.
Mr Dooley said the funeral was “very respectable”. “I want to thank the guards and everyone for everything they’ve done.”
The congregation was greeted inside the church by pictures of Mr Dooley with the following message below: ‘When you feel a little lonely, And all you want is me, Just place a hand on your heart, And know that’s where I’ll be, I know how much you hurt, but remember me and smile, I know we’re apart right now, but it’s not only for a moment.
Those who walked behind the hearse as it traveled through town and into the nearby cemetery were accompanied by recorded music and Tina Turner’s “Simply The Best” was played at the grave.
Many mourners wore T-shirts featuring photos of Mr Dooley and some of them were thrown into the grave with red roses.
There was a significant garda presence in Tullamore throughout the morning, with up to 100 officers on duty, including the armed response unit, mounted gardai and riot squad.
A Guard helicopter was overhead as the hearse made its way from downtown to the cemetery, but the atmosphere was very calm.
Earlier at Mass, the celebrant, Father Joseph Gallagher, parish priest of Tullamore, acknowledged that it was a very difficult and heartbreaking time for the family.
“I hope our funeral mass brings consolation to Tom’s family,” Fr Gallagher said.
There was a public wake at O’Reilly’s funeral home across the street from the church on Wednesday evening and family members also paid their respects privately at a wake there on Tuesday.
Mr Dooley was killed while attending a funeral with his wife at Rathass Cemetery, Tralee on Wednesday October 5.
Gardai is investigating the circumstances of his death and Mr Dooley’s brother, Patrick Dooley (35), Arbutus Grove, Killarney and his first cousin, also called Thomas Dooley (41), Bay 10, Halting Site, Carrigrohane, Co Cork were charged with his murder.
Two other men were arrested as part of the garda investigation.
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