Funeral tributes for ‘world’s greatest’ Tom Dooley after graveyard stab death
- 18:29, 13 Oct 2022
- Updated: 21:30, 13 Oct 2022
ARMED Gardai were out in force for the funeral of tragic murder victim Tom Dooley.
Officers carried out searches before 200 innocent devastated mourners gathered to say a final farewell to the Co Kerry man.
His coffin, draped in his county’s GAA flag, was carried in to the Church of the Assumption in Tullamore, Co Offaly for the funeral mass.
The father-of-seven, aged 43, had been attacked by a group of men in Rath Cemetery, Tralee, last week.
He died as a result of the wounds he received.
His wife Siobhan suffered slash wounds as she bravely tried to intervene.
Much-loved Tom had been known in Kerry as a mediator and peacemaker during Traveller disputes and feuds.
Amid poignant scenes today, he was brought from a funeral home in Siobhan’s home town and across the road to the church.
Gardai had earlier carried out searches of the church, even bringing in the dog unit to ensure it was safe for people to enter.
Officers from the Armed Support Unit, the Garda Mounted Support Unit and the Dog Unit kept up a visible presence during the service.
Later, at the cemetery, a helicopter hovered overhead.
Parish Priest Fr Joe Gallagher was the only celebrant of the mass.
No personal references were made about the deceased as he spoke.
He told of it being a harrowing and difficult time for the family.
He said: “As we celebrate Tom’s funeral mass we are very conscious of his heartbroken family. You are very much in our thoughts.
“We remember Tom’s wife Siobhan and to his children Noreen, Rosaleen, Siobhan, Thomas, Charles, John and Angel, you are very much in our prayers on this sad and difficult day for you.
“We also acknowledge Tom’s family and his friends and those who feel the pain of parting, the sorrow of death. We are here with you today to ask the Lord to give you strength.
“We ask God’s strength and consolation for his family who are suffering at this time”.
PAIN OF PARTING
Fr Gallagher also prayed for the the victims of the Donegal tragedy saying, “As we gather here for Tom’s funeral we are very conscious of the people who are gathered in Donegal, in Creeslough after the terrible tragedy there. Our hearts go out to them and we pray for them here today”.
Tom’s coffin was carried out of the Church and placed in a white ornate funeral carriage which was drawn by two magnificent white horses.
The procession to the graveyard was led by children carrying a banner saying “RIP The world’s greatest Tom Dooley” while the R Kelly song The World’s Greatest played.
The men shouldering the coffin lifted it high in the air four times to cheers while they made their way.
Single red roses were thrown in on top of the coffin and singer Derrick McDonagh sang a traditional lament.
Meanwhile, two men have appeared in Court in Kenmare charged with Tom’s murder.
A third man was arrested and questioned but released without charge.
A fourth man is currently in Garda custody and being questioned under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.