Death of man who stumbled on intruders 'was not in vain', mourners told at funeral
THE death of a 62-year-old man who died after discovering intruders in his home will not be in vain as it has raised a national awareness of the fear that elderly people are living with in rural communities in Ireland, a priest has said.
John O'Donoghue collapsed and died outside his house at Upper Toomaline, Doon, Co Limerick shortly before 2pm last Thursday after he returned home to discover his house had been ransacked by thieves.
A post-mortem carried out by the State Pathologist Marie Cassidy confirmed the 62-year-old bachelor suffered a heart attack.
Two cousins appeared before a special sitting of Limerick District Court last Saturday charged with entering Mr O'Donoghue's home as trespassers and stealing a ladies gold watch valued at €200 and stg£30.
Addressing mourners at Doon Parish Church last night, Fr Tony Ryan, who administered last rites to Mr O'Donoghue, "I honestly believe that he has not died in vain".
"Although he did not deserve his life to end as it did, there is - as we know - a great consciousness now in our community, not just here but throughout rural Ireland, of the support we need to give to each other in looking out for each other, because so many elderly people are living in fear," Fr Ryan said.
Among the chief mourners at Mr O'Donoghue's removal was his sister Christina, a retired nurse who was with her brother when he died.
Fr Ryan said the entire community was saddened and upset by the tragic death of the "gifted local carpenter, whose workmanship is on display in homes and club houses across the parish".
"He was a kind and gentle person, quiet and inoffensive who went about his work in a most professional fashion," said Fr Ryan.
Mr O'Donoghue is also survived by his other sisters Mary and Sheila and his brother Seamus.