The mother of a popular young fisherman who was fatally stabbed has said that his loss leaves “a huge void” in the family and that he will be missed forever by his relatives and many friends.
Jack Power (25) was buried on Sunday afternoon after his funeral Mass in Our Lady's Church in Carbally, Co Waterford, barely a kilometre from where he grew up in Brownstown on the coast.
He died in University Hospital Waterford on Thursday after he was stabbed in an incident on the Shanakiel estate in Dunmore East. A 17-year-old who was arrested that morning was released without charge early on Friday.
Hundreds of people gathered in the small country church and on the roads and hillsides outside from early in the morning to see his remains arriving from the family home and to support his parents Loretta and Richard, brothers Ben and Lee and other family members.
A fisherman like his father and grandfather, Mr Power lived life to the full, the mourners heard, and was a loyal son, brother and friend.
“Jack will leave a huge void in our family,” his mother said at the end of the funeral Mass. “Loyalty was important to him, one of his best qualities. Jack has a lot of friends and they all know who they are today and will miss him very much.
“Jack’s life was so short but he lived it to the full . . . He worked hard and played hard, was very witty and loved the craic.”
She said she had heard many stories about her son for the first time in recent days from his friends, all of which emphasised his loyalty, sense of fun and love for them all, as well as love for the sea.
“In his Leaving Cert Irish paper question, his answer was, ‘I don’t know anything about Irish but I’m some man to haul nets’,” she recalled, prompting laughter inside and outside the church.
“We all have memories of Jack and he will always be remembered.”
Symbols of Mr Power's life brought to the church at the beginning of the Mass included a fishing needle to mend the nets, a sign for Tottenham Hotspur's home ground White Hart Lane, a set of darts and a memoir of boxer Muhammad Ali, reflecting his love of sports.
Fr Donal Hogan told the congregation that the presence of so many was a better testament to what Mr Power meant to everyone, than any words could offer.
“His two younger brothers, Ben and Lee, said he was a great big brother. He was a role model. They said, ‘if we would be like Jack, we’d be doing very well’. I don’t think we can say anything more than that: ‘if we would be like Jack, we would be doing very well,’ and that’s coming from those who know him best, his family, his brothers.”
He spoke about how the word “loyal” had been mentioned again and again in recent days about Mr Power, that he would always stand by his friends, how he stood up for people in the right without any fuss.
“He wouldn’t tell others what to do but he would support them, and he loved animals,” Fr Hogan said.
“His father Richard shared also how proud they were of Jack, even when he wouldn’t do what they wanted him to do, they still were very proud of him. He was independent, he was his own man, making his way in life.”