The family of a young man struck and killed by a train in the US will never forget the “rich years” they spent with “the most loving and caring person”.
Anthony Mulhearn, from Ballyknockbeg, Mulinavat, Co Kilkenny, was in the US on a visa and had been staying in Spring Lake when he was hit by a North Jersey Coast Line train, at about 11:50 pm, last Thursday.
Mr Mulhearn, who had been in the Spring Lake area of the US on a visa, is survived by his parents, Niall and Josie along with his three brothers Thomas, Pat, and Niall Junior.
His remains were repatriated back to Ireland last week.
Mourners at the 24-year-old’s funeral mass, held in St Beacon’s Church, Mullinavat, were told by his brother Thomas Anthony was "the most loving and caring person".
"Anthony had a very short life but a very rich one, he wasn’t like the rest of us but we loved him more because of that.
"The last thing Anthony did before he left for America was he went into the shop and brought raffle tickets and scratch cards and brought them down to a widow that lived down the street from us in Mullinavat.
"That pretty much sums up our brother Anthony. He was the most caring, loving person you could ever meet. He never ever fell out with anybody and we will love him forever."
Symbols of the popular man’s life, including a photographs of the Mulhearn family and his drama group, as well as a book showing his love of literature, were brought to the Church altar at 2pm.
A rich life
"Anthony had a very short life but a very rich one, he wasn’t like the rest of us but we loved him more because of that," parish priest Fr Liam Barron said.
“In life, Anthony never wanted anything unusual, but he planned and studied hard for his top priorities in literature.
"Through his planning, studies and work, he dreamed of a bright future for himself, so Niall, Josie and siblings will never forget these happy years spent with Anthony."
Fr Barron continued: "His work in this world was not finished, he was in the prime of his life, and so healthy. He still had so much to do and so much to give to others, because he was blessed with the gift of generosity. [Anthony] had traits of goodness and kindness.
Mourners heard in Fr Barron’s homily that news of the tragedy had stunned the entire parish.
"For those of us who knew Anthony, this occasion in church has an air of unreality around it, we cannot believe what has happened.
"For his parents and family, the event is a nightmare, which they would hope to awaken from. The suddenness of Anthony’s passing leaves us stunned by grief," Fr Barron continued.
“Their sorrow is something only they themselves can know. This kind of bereavement is dark, private and exclusive – in this sense we are all outsiders at this moment of their mourning.
“We know that however hard we try, none of us can really enter into the world of his mother and father and share their pain of loss.”
Mr Mulhearn’s family had asked that instead of bringing flowers that mourners give donations to the Kevin Bell Trust.