This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019

Thomas Kennedy's funeral hears he was a quiet family man who idolised his grandchildren

The 81-year-old went missing last July.

THE FUNERAL OF Thomas Kennedy was held this morning – seven months after he went missing from Finglas.

Father Joe Connolly told the congregation that what happened to Thomas will always be a mystery until his family are reunited with him once again.

The 81-year-old was last seen by his neighbours putting out the bins on 29 July last year.

His remains were discovered in Blackpool, England shortly after he went missing but they were not identified until last week.

Today’s funeral gave closure to a family who had searched for their loved one for months on end.

Scout leaders made a guard of honour for the man who was a leader and Assistant Regional Commissioner of Scouting Ireland during his life.

His family were told that Thomas had a strong faith and ‘he is back home now’. Father Connolly said:

I believe that the mystery and the wonder and the questions are all irrelevant…what matters is that Jesus walked by Tom’s side all through his life and Tom in his own way recognised that presence and that’s why he was such a good man.

Thomas is survived by his wife Fran (Patricia), his three sons and nine grandchildren.

The funeral was told that he was a family man who idolised his grandchildren. “He was a good father and a great grandfather.”

Quiet family man 

The funeral also heard how Thomas had been to Lourdes seven times – the priest remarked how he was a quiet person who would often pray on his own.

Father Connolly added that Thomas was a tremendous supporter of the fast around Christmas time:

I remember him at the back of the church telling me about how he wasn’t able to look at TV when it was showing the death and depravation going on in the third world.

The priest spoke about the current Ebola crisis in Africa and how the ‘Ebola handshake’ (where people touch elbows instead of shaking hands) was introduced in Africa to curb the spread of the virus.

He asked the funeral mass to wish each other peace by touching elbows:

In unity with our brothers and sisters around the world and in respect of Tom’s support for the poor – we touch our elbows together.

photo (1) Source: Cliodhna Russell via

The family asked that donations be made to the Irish Heart Foundation in lieu of flowers.

Read: After “months of anguish for his bereft family”, Thomas Kennedy will be laid to rest>

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Read next: