Priest warns of consequences of revenge for biker’s murder

Speaking at funeral Mass of Andrew O’Donoghue, priest appeals for calm

The funeral of Andrew O’Donoghue in Murroe, Co Limerick. Photograph: Brian Gavin Press 22

The funeral of Andrew O’Donoghue in Murroe, Co Limerick. Photograph: Brian Gavin Press 22

 

A priest has warned of the dreadful consequences of seeking revenge in the wake of the murder of a Limerick biker shot dead last weekend.

Speaking at the funeral Mass of Andrew O’Donoghue (51), Fr Tom Ryan, a long-time friend of the dead man, appealed for calm.

“To move away from hatred, to be able to forgive, to show patience and tolerance, this is the message which must go out loud and clear at this time. Unless this message is heard and acted on, dreadful things will continue to happen.”

Hundreds of bikers from across the country gathered in the Holy Rosary Church in Murroe, Co Limerick, for the Mass.

Mr O’Donoghue’s black leather biker jacket emblazoned with the Road Tramps Motorcycle Club logo hung from his coffin at the top of the packed church, while his daughter Ava placed her father’s motorbike helmet on the altar.

He was fatally injured after he was shot in the face at least twice outside the Road Tramps Motorcycle Club Ireland in Murroe last Saturday. Detectives believe the murder was linked to a dispute between biker clubs.

In his homily Fr Ryan described the disbelief he felt when he heard about the shooting. “I felt this must be a mistake or that I must be having some kind of a nightmare.

“This could not be happening in a quiet peaceful rural place like here, eventually Andrew’s name was mentioned.”

Sadly, he said, society had become “accustomed to this kind of bad news, and it doesn’t seem to bother us much any more until it happens in our own place.

“Unfortunately it is almost an everyday occurrence now and this is a very frightening, disturbing and worrying trend in our country.”

More than 200 bikers escorted the funeral procession to Abbington cemetery.