Blanket and Scrabble board offered as gifts at the funeral of murdered homeless man Frankie Dunne 

Blanket and Scrabble board offered as gifts at the funeral of murdered homeless man Frankie Dunne 
Funeral hearse awaits the remains of Francis (Frankie) Dunne at the church of St Mary's on The Hill, Knocknaheeney, Cork

A BLANKET representing the warmth shown by Cork Simon to murder victim Frankie Dunne was one of the gifts taken to the altar during his funeral Mass.

Also among the symbols of his life was a game of Scrabble, which the 64-year-old loved to play.

He was laid to rest in St Michael's cemetery in Blackrock as gardaí continue to investigate his killing. Nobody has been arrested in connection with the gruesome murder.

His dismembered body was discovered in the grounds of Castlegreina House on Boreenmanna Road on December 28. He had been living close by in supported accommodation provided by Cork Simon.

His funeral Mass took place this morning at St Mary's on the Hill Church in Knocknaheeney. His photo was placed on his coffin for the Mass, while four larger photos of Frankie at different stages of his life were on either side of the coffin.

The remains of Francis (Frankie) Dunne are shouldered from the church of St Mary's on The Hill, Knocknaheeney
The remains of Francis (Frankie) Dunne are shouldered from the church of St Mary's on The Hill, Knocknaheeney

Relatives brought the gifts to the altar at the beginning of Mass.

A recording of John, Frankie's son, singing Grace was also played.

At the start of the ceremony, his nieces Yvonne and Breda shared some memories of their beloved uncle.

Yvonne said: "He loved the joke and the craic. He loved listening to traditional music and singing songs. 

"Frankie came from a long line of musicians and singers and he could also sing a song when called upon.

"Frankie had a way with words and always made me laugh."

She said he was a brilliant cook, with some of his specialty dishes being tripe and drisheen, and coddle.

The congregation heard he had recently cooked coddle for members of his family and he had spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with family members.

Yvonne said: "We will always cherish that."

He returned to his Cork Simon accommodation on Boreenmanna Road, where he watched Mr Bean.

She said that among Frankie's favourite pastimes were spending time with his family and friends, fixing phones, betting on horses and drinking.

Breda, who was also his goddaughter, described him as warm, caring and funny.

She said they used to watch Animal Planet together and she was very touched when he gave her a box set of Planet Earth when she got married.

Francis 'Frankie' Dunne 
Francis 'Frankie' Dunne 

She added that he was a man who did not want much in life, "just a few simple pleasures like fags, a bet, listening to Irish traditional music and having a drink or two."

She concluded that he had missed his deceased parents very much.

During the prayers of the faithful, Cork Simon staff were remembered "for their tenderness and care" to Frankie.

In his homily, Fr Gregory Howard, the parish priest of Knocknaheeny, said in his homily that "our concern and our prayers are with those who have been robbed of their loving father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend."

"We journey as companions with Frankie’s family in your pain," he said. "Many people have done so generously and magnanimously this past week."

Fr Howard said Frankie’s family are grateful for the outpouring of sympathy, prayer and practical support they have received.

"You, the family, described him to me as a person who possessed an inquisitive mind," he said. "Frankie, like all of humankind, suffered from his own demons. He tried many, many times to overcome them.

He too paid tribute to the work of Cork Simon, "Many people reached out to Frankie - his family, his friends and the staff and residents of Clanmornin House, Boreenmanna Road, as well as the countless and unknown people who were kind to him. Expressions of thanks must be given to the Simon Community who give shelter and refuge to Frankie and to many, many people without houses."

He concluded: "Finally, the greatest lesson of all is this. The next homeless person we meet, we might treat them with a little more sympathy and kindness. For whatever we do to the least of our sisters and brothers, we do it to Jesus."

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