Cyclist’s fatal crash left parish numb, funeral hears

Priest pays tribute to Seán Lynch ‘who was always looking to make the world a better place’

A guard of honour was formed by members of Drogheda Wheelers, Navan Road Club and two cycling clubs in Ashbourne, at the funeral of Seán Lynch, who died from injuries suffered during the race, at The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Rathfeigh, Co Meath. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

A guard of honour was formed by members of Drogheda Wheelers, Navan Road Club and two cycling clubs in Ashbourne, at the funeral of Seán Lynch, who died from injuries suffered during the race, at The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Rathfeigh, Co Meath. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

A procession of bicycles led a guard of honour for competitive cyclist Seán Lynch whose funeral Mass took place at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Rathfeigh, Co Meath, on Tuesday.

Friends, family and cycling companions gathered to pay tribute to the 34-year-old who died after hitting a parked motorbike during the Frank O’Rourke Memorial Race in Co Wexford on May 5th. He was taken to Wexford General Hospital.

Hundreds of mourners listened from inside and outside the small church as his partner, Olivia Faulkner read out a poem she had written for her “soulmate”.

“On the 7th of February 2008, my world changed for the better,” she said. “Seán and I started out as friends. All it took was a kiss from my Prince Charming.

“My one and only beau, I know you will be with me forever. Both of us achieved one of life’s great feats: a union. Travelling together and seeing the world’s wonders: Seán, being by your side made my heart beat.”

The couple had planned to marry next year in New York, one of the many places they had visited together.

“I miss your hugs, your kisses, your smile,” she continued. “You are the right of my life that removed all the wrong . . . I love you forever. Rest in peace, Seán.”

The congregation heard of Mr Lynch’s involvement in the local community, his love of Manchester United and his passion for cycling with the Drogheda Wheelers.

A guard of honour was formed by members of Drogheda Wheelers, Navan Road Club and two cycling clubs in Ashbourne, at the funeral of Seán Lynch, at The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Rathfeigh, Co Meath. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
A guard of honour was formed by members of Drogheda Wheelers, Navan Road Club and two cycling clubs in Ashbourne, at the funeral of Seán Lynch, at The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Rathfeigh, Co Meath. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fr Thomas O’Mahony spoke of Mr Lynch as a “caring and considerate” young man who was “always looking to make the world a better place”.

“Last week the whole parish became numb and for a period of time a silent shock took over the whole of our lives,” he said. “Here we have a young man who lived to help people. He was very much a community man in the parish.”

Fr O’Mahony noted the “unfairness” of such a healthy, young life ending so suddenly. “Here we have a young man in a healthy state doing what we should all do . . . Seán did not know when he got up that morning he would take his last breath.”

Fr O’Mahony spoke of the bond shared between the couple.

“Seán was at his happiest when he was with his Olivia,” he said. Turning to speak directly to her, he added: “You were really the love of his life.”

Mr Lynch had chosen to donate his organs and the church heard the lives of five people would be extended as a result of his decision. He is survived by Olivia, his parents Lilly and Nicky; his sisters Rose, Sarah and Karen; and his brothers Michael, Paul, Colm and Stephen.