'He was my knight in shining armour,' Karl Holmes' wife tells mourners at funeral
The Dublin man who died during a violent confrontation yards from his Tallaght home has been laid to rest, as the Garda investigation into the incident continues.
Karl Holmes (44) was attacked when he became embroiled in a row at Avonbeg Gardens involving teenagers over a bicycle last Thursday, at 5.30pm.
He was attacked and beaten and a samurai sword was also used in the violent assault.
Holmes collapsed and died after being rushed to Tallaght Hospital.
It was initially thought he had been fatally injured in the attack, but a post-mortem later showed he had an underlying heart condition and died of a heart attack. Gardai then downgraded the investigation into his death from murder to violent disorder and assault.
His remains were brought to St Dominic's Church in Tallaght by his grieving family yesterday morning. A pair of boxing gloves were brought to the altar as a symbol of his life.
At the end of the Mass, Karl's wife Jennifer told mourners he was a man she adored, and that he was her "knight in shining armour".
"We met on a dating website and we went on our first date to Bray. When we were driving out he confidently asked me for a kiss," she said, explaining that she later found out he had to have two pints beforehand to pluck up the courage to ask her.
"I love him and I'll never forget him."
Karl's brother Nigel said that he always wanted to be like his big brother in every way, "except for the baldness", he explained to laughter from the mourners.
He told a story of how when they were children Karl had gone into the attic and found their Christmas presents. He liked his younger brother's one more than his own so he switched the name tags on them.
He got a remote control truck with lights and sounds and opening doors, while Nigel got a simple pick-up truck.
Holmes was previously jailed for five years for causing grievous bodily harm to 19-year-old neighbour Thomas Weekes, who died three days after being headbutted in 1992.
He was also jailed for a year in 2009 for being part of a cartel which defrauded the Revenue of almost €53,000.