LISTEN: Mourners told of ‘heart-breaking loss’ of young man

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By Michelle Devane, PA

Mourners at the funeral of one of three family members who died in a suspected murder-suicide shooting at their Co Cork home have heard his future was supposed to be “full of possibilities”.

The funeral mass of Mark O’Sullivan, 26, was held at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Kanturk on Saturday afternoon, following a decision to hold a separate funeral for his father Tadg and brother Diarmuid.

The funeral service of Tadg, 59, and Diarmuid, 23, took place on Friday afternoon at St Mary’s Church in Castlemagner followed by their burial at St Brigid’s Cemetery.

The three men died on Monday at their family home at Assolas near Kanturk over what is understood to be a tragedy caused by a dispute over an inheritance.

Father Toby Bluitt, the parish priest of Kanturk, told mourners gathered at the Church of the Immaculate Conception that grief is never an easy burden to bear – and never more so than when it comes in such “an untimely, shocking and tragic way”.

“We gather in such grief today, carrying a burden that not only seems to be, but in fact is overwhelming,” he said.

“We gather to comfort and support each other in our common loss. We gather to make sense of the senseless.”

Fr Bluitt told the congregation he was reiterating many of the words he had said at the funerals of Mark’s brother and father on Friday because the “reality of this heart-breaking loss” had not changed.

He said the normally tranquil local area which was usually blanketed at this time of year with a myriad of colourful autumn leaves had become a “hive of activity and the autumn light was, for a time, a very distant memory”.

“The shock, the numbness, the devastation, was impossible to imagine and the unfolding news of the loss of three lives was incomprehensible,” he said.

The priest added: “Just like all of you, I too am struggling to make sense of this life changing tragedy.”

Mourners heard Mark had attended school in Ballyhass and Kanturk like his younger brother Diarmuid and also socialised in Castlemagner.

“He studied law at the University of Limerick (UL), graduating in 2017,” Fr Bluitt said.

“He was a trainee solicitor preparing to complete his final exams. UL paid tribute to him this week and underlined the shock felt within the UL community where Mark was highly thought of.”

Fr Bluitt also said that life was “full of possibilities” for Mark.

“One could also say that Mark touched many people’s lives along the way as he journeyed through life,” he added.

“His life and death have changed you all and you will never be the same again.

“So today, gathered together in our grief, we do not minimise the loss of these three lives by trying to provide easy answers.

“Because there are no answers.”

He said what was known was that this was not a “wake up call”, and nor did it happen so that we can learn something

He asked mourners to keep Mark’s mother Anne and her extended family in their prayers as they “endeavour to navigate this path of unexpected loss and anguish”.

Mark O’Sullivan was discovered in the family home, while Diarmuid was found dead alongside his father Tadg, in a field 500 metres away from the family home.

All three had suffered gunshot wounds.

A detailed 12-page note was found on the body of Diarmuid, which gardai are examining for further evidence.

Gardai have indicated they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident.

They were alerted to the incident at around 6.30am on Monday after Tadg’s wife, and the mother of the two men, Anne raised the alarm that firearms may have been discharged at her home.

In line with current Covid-19 public health restrictions, his funeral mass will be private with only a small number of mourners permitted.

The service is to be live streamed.

In a funeral notice, Mark was described as the beloved son of his heartbroken mother.

On Friday, Fr Bluitt told mourners gathered for the funeral of Tadg and Diarmuid that the father and son had touched many lives.

He added that Tadg and Diarmuid’s lives and deaths have changed all who knew them, adding that they will “never be the same again”.

Mourners heard Tadg had worked in the motor trade locally for over 40 years.

The priest said he had always found him to be “very accommodating, friendly and happy in his chosen field”.

They also heard that Diarmuid attended school in Ballyhass and Kanturk like his older brother Mark, and also socialised in Castlemagner.

He went on to study accountancy at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT).

He had finished his studies last June and was due to have his conferring online next week.

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