Tributes were paid at the funeral of young Irishman Anthony Mulhearn, who died after being hit by a train in New Jersey.
r Mulhearn was killed after the crash in the US on December 15th and the service was held today in Mullinavat, County Kilkenny.
It is understood that Mr Mulhearn, 24, was in America on a visa in the Spring Lake neighborhood near the Jersey Shore area.
Born in Kilkenny, he is survived by his father and mother, Josie and Niall, and his three brothers, Thomas, Pat and Niall Jr.
In his homily, Rev. Liam Barron, parish priest of Mullinavat, offered his condolences to the Mulhearn family.
“The news of this tragedy has stunned the entire community. For those of us who knew Anthony, there is an air of unreality to this occasion in the church, we cannot believe what happened,” he said.
“For his parents and family, the event is a nightmare that I hope they would wake up from. The suddenness of Anthony’s death leaves us stunned with grief.
“We know that no matter how hard we try, none of us can truly step into the world of our mother and father and share in their pain of loss. Only they can know their grief. This type of grief is dark, private and exclusive – in that sense we are all outsiders in this moment of their grief.
“It may be common for the children to be present at a parent’s funeral, but in normal life it goes against the grain for a parent to bury a child, so today our hearts go out to Anthony’s parents, Niall and Josie , and his siblings. “
His biggest hobby was acting and he was able to express that through Waterford Youth Art. I remember seeing him on a show and he just got really kicked out of it
Gifts symbolizing the life of Mr Mulhearn were brought at the beginning of the funeral service, including a book meant to symbolize “Anthony’s great love of literature and for the gift of learning in his life”.
Arts and theater were a great passion of Mr. Mulhearn and a photograph of his theater company was presented at the altar.
“A photo of his theater company, his love of the stage, his love of performing, entertaining and putting smiles on people’s faces,” said Fr. Barron.
The final gift was a photograph of the Mulhearn family to symbolize Anthony’s love for his family.
“Provided is a photograph of the Mulhearn family which undoubtedly makes us realize that no matter where Anthony has traveled, both domestically and internationally, his family was always close to his heart.”
Father Barron also spoke of the shock that Mr Mulhearn’s death has brought to the Mullinavat community.
“We are visibly shocked as a community by Anthony’s death. We are overwhelmed by the suddenness and horror of what happened, we just can’t understand it,” he said.
“This afternoon we have so many questions and we have no answers, we have no satisfactory explanations. We don’t know what to believe or accept that the person we knew and loved so well is dead and gone.
“In a way, we’re paranoid and in disbelief in limbo. There is a great emptiness in our hearts here in this church today because Anthony was taken from us, a modern day young man who was so full of life and so young in his years.”
Father Barron described Mr. Mulhearn as a man who took on qualities of “kindness and kindness.”
“His work in this world was not finished, he was in the prime of his life and so healthy. He had so much to do and so much to give because he was blessed with the gift of generosity,” he said.
“So what should we do and how should we deal with it? This Mass is a sad occasion for all of us, but it is also a celebration of Anthony’s life and we owe much as we speak to family members and neighbors since his passing.
“Anthony never wanted anything out of the ordinary in life, but he planned and studied hard for his top priorities in literature.
“Through his planning, studies and work, he dreamed of a bright future for himself such that Niall, Josie and his siblings will never forget those happy years he shared with Anthony.”
Anthony’s brother Thomas gave a eulogy in memory of his late brother, describing him as “the most caring and loving person”.
“Anthony had a very short life but a very rich one, he wasn’t like the rest of us but we loved him more because of it.
“His biggest hobby was his theater and he was able to express that through Waterford Youth Art. I remember seeing him on a show and he just got a real kick out of it,” Thomas said.
‘He had a teacher, Tom O’Brien, and I remember him saying that Anthony had been quite an actor since he was young in Mullinavat.
“The last thing Anthony did before he went to America was he went into the shop and brought tickets and scratch cards and took them to a widow who lived down the road from us in Mullinavat.
“That pretty much sums up our brother Anthony. He was the most caring, loving person you could ever meet. He never fell out with anyone and we will always love him.”
Anthony’s family has asked those who can donate to the Kevin Bell Trust, the charity that helped bring Anthony’s remains home from the United States.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/we-cannot-believe-what-happened-tributes-paid-at-funeral-of-young-irish-man-killed-in-new-jersey-accident-42244923.html ‘We can’t believe what happened’ – tributes at funeral for young Irishman who died in accident in New Jersey