Heartfelt thanks were given to Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee at their funerals, which will take place this Easter Monday.
Idan’s funeral service was held at Christ the King’s Church, Lisacul, Co. Roscommon this afternoon while Michael’s funeral was held at Saint Joseph’s Church, Ballytivnan, Co. Sligo.
Aidan, 41, was found at his Cartron Heights home on Monday night, a day before the body of Michael, 58, was discovered at his home in the City View estate by two of his nieces on Tuesday night.
Both men died violently in their own homes. A man has been charged in her death.
Vigils were held across the country last weekend in memory of Michael and Aidan, attended by thousands. They will continue through Easter Monday and into this week.
In Roscommon, mourners lined the street as Aidan’s large procession approached the church to the tune of Adele’s piano playing of ‘Someone Like You’.
Over 1,000 people tuned in to pay their respects to Aidan virtually in a live stream of his funeral mass, while the small church was packed and mourners listened in from outside.
Symbols of Aidan’s life were brought to the altar; a Roscommon flag to represent the love he had for his home district; an auctioneer’s gavel to represent the love he had for his work; Jockey silks from The Real Deal Syndicate, a syndicate of owners that Aidan was a member of to symbolize his love of horses and horse racing.
A Moffitt family crest was also unveiled along with a statue of Our Lady to emphasize Aidan’s deep faith and love for his family.
Father Michael McManus said in his homily that “at this time there are no words missing. But we only have words to express our sadness.
“Don’t let Aidan’s death and how he died be what he is remembered for,” Father McManus said.
Aidan’s love for his family was highlighted by Father McManus through his concern for his mother, Kathleen.
“He used to take his mother on day trips and take her to lunch. He took such good care of her.
“His love for you was extraordinary, Kathleen, and he makes us reflect on how we should all treat our parents in life,” Father McManus said.
Aidan was passed away by his father Tom 11 years ago.
Father McManus said he was left in “shock” when Aidan’s brother Christy called to inform him of Aidan’s death.
“There are no words to describe the sadness that Aidan’s death has caused to his family and friends.
“When we gather, we do so to honor Aidan’s life and achievements.
“He lived life to the fullest and always put family and friends ahead of his own needs. Although Aidan was successful in his professional life, he was first and foremost a son, brother, uncle and friend.
“Aidan’s love of politics, horse racing and a good night out are all well documented,” said Father McManus, adding, “The only thing I knew about Aidan was that he was a man of faith.
Father McManus – a close friend of the Moffitt family – also read a message from the Bishop of Elphin to Aidan’s family.
Bishop Kevin Doran, in a letter to the Moffitts, sympathized with the family for enduring “a particularly painful week at having Aidan taken away from them so suddenly.”
“From what you have told me, I know that each of you has your own precious memory of Aidan, as a son, brother or uncle. I hope you will always remember him as you knew and loved him.
“I also offer my condolences to Aidan’s many friends. I can understand that Aidan’s death touched each of you very personally. You can be equally sure that your friendship was important to him. May God, who loves Aidan, always hold you in his hand.
“I understand that Aidan’s interest in politics is something he inherited from his father Tom at a young age. Politicians demand generous sacrifices in the service of the common good. Not everyone is willing to make these sacrifices. We can be thankful for the gifts that Aidan shared in this way and so many others,” Bishop Doran said.
Across the county line in Co Sligo, Bishop Doran also sent a message of condolences to the Snee family and Michael’s friends, which was read by the Rev. Father Noel Rooney.
Bishop Doran told the Snee family that “the death of a loved one is never easy,” that in the months to come, through great friends in neighbors, “you will experience the healing presence of the Spirit of God through their occasional visits or phone calls at work in you.” .”
“Michael has dedicated his working life to caring for the elderly and people with intellectual disabilities. It’s the kind of work that requires gentleness and patience. I join you all in giving thanks today for the gift of his life that he gave so generously in the service of others. May Michael rest in peace. May Mary, the mother of Jesus, who stood at the foot of the cross as her son lay dying, comfort you and strengthen you with your faith,” Bishop Doran said.
In his homily, Father Rooney said, “Sadness, sorrow, desolation, disbelief and indeed anger are in our hearts as we gather”.
“Agony, suffering and crucifixion continue to be an ongoing reality for Michael’s family, despite the immense outpouring of love from her extended family, friends and neighbors. The Easter promise of hope seems elusive”.
Father Rooney explained how Michael passed away from his beloved mother Phil in 2001 and that “Michael is indeed in that loving embrace of Phil and they are both surrounded by the loving embrace of the risen Christ”.
“Less than 58 years ago, Michael was carried by his parents, Phil and John, and their godparents to Sligo Cathedral for a christening – a moment of joy and a moment of hope. Today Michael is once again being carried into a church. This time in grief over his brutal and early death.
Father Rooney said it was important that “we don’t let the horror of Michael’s death dominate his beautiful life”.
“And what a beautiful life he lived.
“Many beautiful memories have been shared with tears and laughter over the past few days. Michael was a beautiful, kind and gentle person. He was loved very much and had a heart full of love. He was sensitive and couldn’t do enough for his family, friends and those he worked with.
“He was a porter/carer at Cregg House and Saint John’s Hospital. He had a wonderful way of dealing with residents, especially the most complex ones. He retired about 10 years ago with vision problems,” Father Rooney said.
Father Rooney said Michael was “always elegant and well presented”.
“He wore the best clothes and shoes. According to Tina, he aged gracefully and got better with age. According to Aaron, he was like a fine wine,
“Oskar, his dog, was his baby and the love of his life. He was fed the very best: steak, pork chops and chicken, while Michael himself lived on coffee. Oskar is so polite that he didn’t want to eat until Michael started,” said Fr. Rooney.
Father Rooney fondly recalled Michael’s love of holidays abroad and how he “often fell asleep on his sun lounger and burned himself, much to the amusement of family and friends.”
Father Rooney recalled Michael’s love for his family, including his father John, sisters Mary and Tina, nephew and nieces Aaron, Shannon and Sophie, “who were the focus of his life”.
“Last Tuesday he was cooking a stew for his family and called at 6:30pm to ask if it was ‘nice’ and if they ‘liked it’.
“Later that same night around 10:30 p.m., Shannon and Sophie made the grim discovery.
“This was Michael’s beautiful life full of love, kindness and a generous heart. Let them define his life and the memory of his life,” Father Rooney said.
Michael’s niece Shannon presented the first offertory gift; a photo of Michael’s dog Oskar.
Michael’s friend Leah then brought a coffee mug before another friend gave Lauryn Michael’s glasses as a gift. His niece Sophie offered a family photo while his sisters Mary and Tina brought bread and wine to the front.
Over the weekend, President Michael D. Higgins offered his support to members of the LGBTQ+ community.
President Higgins offered his “deepest condolences” to members of the public affected by the deaths of Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee.
He said that “terrible” recent events have shed a light on homophobia in Ireland, where “heartbreaking … members of the gay community are being confronted with homophobic comments and slurs that often go unchallenged”.
He added: “We have to do better.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/mourners-at-funerals-of-aidan-moffitt-and-michael-snee-remember-lives-full-of-love-and-kindness-41563346.html Mourners at Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee’s funerals recall lives of ‘love and kindness’