McCarthy funeral: ‘Brothers had great loyalty to each other’

Funeral of McCarthy siblings hears of their love for Kerry football, cars and many friends

The funeral has taken place in Dingle, Co Kerry, of the elderly brothers who were found dead in their house in Dublin last Tuesday.

St Mary's parish church in Dingle heard fond memories of William and Daniel McCarthy, both in their 70s, and who were deaf.

The brothers had spent up to four weeks at the home place in The Glens, or “Na Gleannta” a quiet valley, three miles north of Dingle this August and September.

"And I am told there wasn't a blackberry left in The Glens after their visit," parish priest of Dingle Fr Joseph Begley said, drawing laughter from the neighbours and friends in the congregation.


The mass, in English, but interspersed with Irish, was signed throughout for the benefit of the brothers friends in the deaf community several of whom travelled from Dublin, accompanied by John Patrick Doherty chaplain for the deaf.

“Despite the sadness of their passing, the family has cherished memories, “the priest said.

On the altar were the symbols of their life.

Cars had always played an important part in their lives there was a picture of the the much loved Red Anglia a car they drove for many years.

There was crucifix resting on a pair of hands, joined together ,because the hands symbolised how William and Daniel worked — “they could turn their hands to anything, “Fr Begley said.

But the hands were also as well as their means of communication for sign language, he said.

And there was a copy of The Kerryman newspaper to reflect their love of reading newspapers and of keeping up with current affairs.

Born into a family of five, they left The Glens to attend St Joseph’s school for the deaf in Dublin.

“But while Dublin was their primary domicile, “ they would visit “the fód dúchais” at least three times a year, Fr Begley recalled.

At Christmas, they would shop in Dingle and buy presents for their nieces and nephews.

They had great loyalty to one another and they experienced great love in the course of their lives ; they had an active life, they worked, they shopped, they networked with their many friends.

The beauty of life was “allowing other people to love us, to walk with us not as strangers but as friends,” Fr Begley reflected.

The Gospel reading from St Luke, 17:11:19 about Christ meeting and curing the 10 lepers , only one of whom turned back and thanked him, was centrally about “gratitude” .

“Jesus always urges us to have a spirit of gratitude in our lives,” the priest said.

“William and Daniel were blessed to have many friends,” and both the deaf community and their sister Angela would frequently contact them, the priest also said.

He thanked the many people who turned out to support the family and to offer them comfort “in their sadness and loneliness.”

In time honoured tradition, hundreds of people queued after mass in the west Kerry sunshine to offer their sympathy to the family outside the church.

Nephew Fergal McCarthy on behalf of the family earlier thanked Fr Begley and Fr Jim Sheehy who concelebrated the mass; and sign language interpreter Catherine White, and also the deaf community for the beautiful ceremony and welcome at a mass on Saturday at Emmaus Chapel at Deaf Village Ireland

Prayers by nephews, a grand nephew and a niece were for the deaf community that they might continue to be an inspiration, for the gardaí and ambulance service who took care of them after they died.

A discreet green and gold plait, the Kerry Colours, decorated the top of William's coffin, as it was shouldered down the aisle.

This was to symbolise the brothers’ great love of Kerry football, neighbours said.

Burials was at St Brendan’s Cemetery in Dingle along with their predeceased brother and parents.

They are predeceased by a brother John and survived by their sister Angela, their younger brother Éamonn, a farmer, and his wife Eileen and their with children and grandchildren.

The bodies of the two brothers were found in their house in Millrose Estate in the Bluebell area of Dublin.

One had died some weeks ago, and the other had continued to live in the house until he died last weekend.

A post mortem concluded both died of natural causes.

Councillor Séamus Cosaí Fitzgerald, a friend and neighbour,was assisting the family.

The family were quiet and much respected, and everyone’s sympathy went out to them, he said on Sunday.