THE brother of murder victim Aidan O’Driscoll thanked the dead man’s fiancée for helping him to turn his life around in the years before his brutal murder.
The 37-year-old dad of two was laid to rest in Kilcully cemetery yesterday, following his requiem Mass at St Oliver’s Church in Ballyvolane.
He was gunned down in Blackpool on December 7 and gardaí are investigating if his links to dissident republicanism provided a motive for the daring hit.
In his eulogy, his brother Mark told the packed church that Aidan had received a lot of negative publicity recently.
But he said that those who knew him had seen him turn his life around in recent years and that he was very happy and was working hard.
Mark told the congregation this was down to “the love of his life, Marion.” Thanking Marion, he added that she would always be part of Aidan’s family. The couple had been planning to marry next May.
Marion placed a card with his name and the date of his death on a tree of remembrance in the church during yesterday’s funeral Mass.
In his eulogy, Mark also thanked the medical staff who had battled to save his life at Cork University Hospital, as well as members of the public who tried to help him while waiting for the emergency services to arrive.
They were also remembered in one of the prayers of the faithful.
The Mass was celebrated by Fr John O’Donovan, who was joined on the altar by a priest who was a relative of the O’Driscoll family.
In his homily, Fr O’Donovan said: "Since the death of Aidan last Wednesday, a lot of words have been written and a lot of words have been spoken about him, so here today with his loved ones and his extended family gathered around him in this sacred place and space for this community of Ballyvolane, we commend him to the love, the gentleness and forgiveness of God Our Father when one day we will ask the same for ourselves."
He said last week’s murder brought to mind a funeral Mass he had celebrated in Belfast many years ago of a young man who was shot dead.
Fr O’Donovan said: “The years have passed by since that funeral, but with the shooting of Aidan last Wednesday, those feelings that I experienced many years ago re-emerge with his death, and that is the sacredness of human life – the hurt, pain and emptiness that it causes to those who loved Aidan in this life.”
During the Mass, a photo of the dead man and his fiancée lay on the coffin. The coffin was covered with a Delanys hurling and football club flag. Members of the club formed a guard of honour as their slain team mate’s coffin was brought from the church. Team mates from Quinlan’s Football Club and Glenthorn Celtic were also in the congregation.
The garda investigation into his death is continuing, with a focus on four cars which have now been linked to it.
Anyone with information is asked to contact gardaí in Anglesea Street on (021) 4522000.