British MP killed last Friday remembered as a ‘warm and kind man’ at Irish memorial service

Memorial mass for Sir David Amess took place in Dublin city

The British Ambassador to Ireland Paul Johnston  at a Mass for Sir David Amess at St. Teresa’s Church in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The British Ambassador to Ireland Paul Johnston at a Mass for Sir David Amess at St. Teresa’s Church in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Sir David Amess, the British MP who was killed last Friday, was remembered as a ‘warm and kind man’ at a memorial service in Dublin organised by some members of the Oireachtas.

Mr Amess had been an MP for almost 40 years, and he represented Southend West in Essex.

He was stabbed to death last Friday while holding a constituency clinic in Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.

A 25-year-old man named Ali Harbi Ali has been charged with his murder and appeared in court on Thursday. He entered no plea to the charges and will make another appearance at the Old Bailey on Friday.

The memorial mass was held on Thursday afternoon at St Teresa’s Church on Clarendon Street in Dublin , with Fr Vincent O’Hara celebrating.

Paul Johnston, the British Ambassador to Ireland, spoke at the service. He said that there was shared grief and shock across Ireland and Britain over Mr Amess’s death.

He said the outpouring of support and tributes from Ireland would provide great comfort to Mr Amess’s family, friends and colleagues. “These messages are deeply appreciated.”

Mr Amess was an associate member of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly. The next meeting was due to take place in Westminster on Monday, but has since been cancelled out of respect for Mr Amess, Mr Johnston noted.

Mr Amess brought forward legislation relating to animal welfare, fuel poverty and the registration of driving instructors.

He also raised awareness of endometriosis and the importance of protecting the rights of children with disabilities, according to Mr Johnston.

“He was a warm and kind man, well-liked by parliamentarians and staff alike. He was a committed Catholic and his faith sustained him throughout his life and public service.”

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl read the first reading, and Minister for Education Norma Foley was also in attendance, as were other members of the Oireachtas.

Fr O’Hara said Mr Amess was a man of convictions, who was guided by his faith.

“There is a special poignancy in Sir David’s death, that someone who cherished and promoted life at all stages, from it’s beginning in the womb, should have his life snuffed out in such a barbaric way.”

His faith was integral to his life, Fr O’Hara said. “Sir David was a man of conscience, and as should be, he allowed that conscience to inform his life and work.”

Fr O’Hara thanked Independent Senator Rónán Mullen, who helped to organised the mass.

Mr Amess is survived by his wife Julia and their five children.