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Son's poignant tribute to 'brilliant, loving but difficult' fire victim dad

The father-of-one who was killed in a fire in a derelict house in Dalkey last week was laid to rest after mourners heard he was a talented man who lived life the way he wanted.

John Hoey (47) died in the fire on Ulverton Road that gardai believe was started accidentally, possibly by a burning candle.

The fire gutted the derelict 1920's property, which was bought four years ago for demolition and development.

At his funeral in St Joseph's Church, Glasthule, yesterday, John's son, Jamie, said he was very proud of his father.

"Very few people live exactly the way they want to do it, but he did," said Jamie, adding that sometimes it was a good thing and sometimes it was a bad thing.

"Dad was a difficult man. I love him so much and I will always be proud of him. He was a brilliant man and words can't explain him," he added.

"Accept my dad for who he was. Fully, one hundred percent," he asked.

"He was a difficult man to be around. I'm not going to lie. But there is a lot behind that," Jamie explained, saying that if we just look at dysfunction and addiction at face value we miss out on so much about a person.

"Separate the man from the behaviour," he asked.

"Dad was so loyal, so kind, so gentle and so loving. It was an unconditional love. He only wanted to be around me and mam," Jamie added.

Earlier in the Mass the congregation heard how John was a talented artist and sculptor, who often sat in the church.

They also heard how John's prayers might often have expressed anger at the direction his life had taken, but the he would have always left with God's love in his heart.

John's sister Liz read the prayers of the faithful.

Also present were Horslips band member Barry Devlin and actor Alan Devlin. After funeral Mass, John's remains were taken to Mount Jerome cemetery for a farewell service.

cfeehan@herald.ie