The funeral of a man killed in unexplained circumstances in North Clare last week has heard how the area has lost ‘a legend of a man’.
Pensioner John O Neill is being laid to rest in the Holy Rosary Cemetery in Doolin this afternoon after a funeral mass in Lisdoonvarna.
Clare FM’s Josh Prenderville reports.
A St Breckan’s GAA jersey was draped over the coffin of John O Neill as it was placed at the front of Corpus Christi Church this morning, illustrating his love of both sport and the community around him.
Mourners heard how John was brought up in Grand Central House in Lisdoonvarna, named following his father’s time in New York, and a fitting address for someone who was ‘destined for travel and bright lights’.
He attended school in St Flannan’s College and represented Clare in a Munster minor final some years ago.
John owned and operated a successful bed and breakfast with his wife Chris for many years, who passed away herself last summer.
The congregation was told how he had travelled the world over, and how he had a story for every town, village and country he passed through.
Father Richard Flanagan, who led the funeral mass alongside Father Robert McNamara, told mourners that this is how John should be remembered, rather than what he described as a ‘senseless’ act.
Aside from being a community man, the funeral heard how family came first for John.
His son Graham told those gathered in Corpus Christi Church that John was the type of parent who always had ‘complete confidence’ in his two children.
One member of the parish is said to have remarked this week that Lisdoonvarna has ‘lost its talking encyclopedia’, such was John’s talent for retaining information.
John O Neill is survived by sons Sean and Graham, daughters-in-law, sister Marie and his five grandchildren.