Tom O’Gorman’s ‘honesty and passion’ remembered at funeral
Hundreds attend requiem Mass for murdered Castleknock man
The remains of Tom O’Gorman are carried by family and friends after his funeral mass in Dublin today. Photo: David Sleator/The Irish Times
The murder of Castleknock man Tom O’Gorman has “prompted us to enlargen our hearts with a new capacity to love”, Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy told mourners at his funeral today.
The bishop who was chief celebrant at the Mass attended by hundreds of friends, neighbours and fellow Catholic advocates, recalled first meeting Tom in the 1990s when his “cheery banter” and “fast-moving mind” made an instant impression.
Homilist Fr Stephen Kelly, a friend of the deceased, told the gathering at the Church of Our Lady, Mother of the Church, north Dublin, told of Tom’s many passions including sport — especially rugby — music and films, as well as the company of friends and family. “He was so immensely proud of being an uncle”.
Fr Kelly said: “The headlines and soundbites that surrounded Tom’s passing and tried to sum him up sounded so trivial and that’s ironic because Tom was one of the least trivial people I know.
“He cared so passionately about so many things and he put that passion into action every single day. He cared about ideas and issues and concepts because he cared about people. He cared about the kind of world children would grow up in, the kind of society people would get old in, the kind of communities his friends and family lived in.
“He cared and in a world where that can be said of fewer and fewer people we would do well to remember his example.
“The Lord tells us that unless we become like little children we cannot enter the kingdom of God. There was something childlike about Tom, his sense of fun, his mimicry, his love of being with people, his honesty and his trustfulness all brought that out but perhaps the most childlike feature was his perception. He didn’t look at the image or projection but at the person and thought well of them…
“Tom’s was no tame Christianity,” the priest continued. “He understood the challenge and power of the gospel. He knew how radical the teachings of Christ are, no matter how many times he heard them: ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’…
“This isn’t a memorial service. It’s a Catholic funeral. The difference lies in this. A memorial service is about the past. This funeral is about the future, the future of a life with God promised to those who follow him. We believe that death is not the end.”
Reflecting the circumstances surrounding Tom’s death, the first reading was taken from the book of Wisdom. “The virtuous man, though he die before his time, will find rest… He has been carried off so that evil may not warp his understanding or treachery seduce his soul…”
The chief mourners were Mr O’Gorman’s brother and sister Paul and Catherine O’Gorman. Members of the Iona Institute with which he worked were among those in attendance, its director David Quinn acting as one of the pallbearers as his coffin was taken from the church for burial.