Why do people carry knives, priest asks at funeral of Irish man fatally stabbed

Why do people carry knives, priest asks at funeral of Tipperary man fatally stabbed

The late Conor Quinn who died in a fatal stabbing.

The priest officiating at the funeral of a young Tipperary man who was fatally stabbed on the street has questioned why people carry knives when they result in so much tragedy.

Conor Quinn (24) was buried in St Michael’s Cemetery in Tipperary town on Thursday, after a funeral mass where mourners heard that the baby due to be born to his partner Stephanie within the coming days will also be named Conor.

Also present at the funeral mass in St Michael's Church were the deceased’s parents Paul and Teresa, brother Anthony, sister Sinead, grandparents and many other relations and friends.

Conor Quinn was originally from Loughrea in Co Galway but grew up in Tipperary town. He was living in recent months in the village of Killavullen in north Cork and attended the Cahirmee Horse Fair in Buttevant on Thursday, July 12.

Later that day, he was in Mallow town centre when he was stabbed by a man who fled the scene on foot, and whom gardaí have been trying to trace in recent days. Conor was treated at the scene but died shortly after arrival at Cork University Hospital.

At his funeral Mass on Thursday, symbols of his life were brought to the altar, including an Arsenal jersey, a pair of sunglasses, a set of keys and Conor’s passport, recalling his love of travel.

“Really we should not be gathered here in this church this morning,” parish priest Fr Eugene Everard said. “Because, really, Conor should still be alive. He should still be with his family, he should still be with his partner Stephanie and his many, many friends and relations.”

He should also be getting ready to celebrate the birth of his and Stephanie’s baby, “due any day now,” and also called Conor.

During his homily, Fr Everard spoke about Conor’s “great sense of humour, his great sense of fun, his great sense of loyalty and kindness to his family, a man who was straight and up front about everything”. 

His life had been “tragically and violently” taken away, the parish priest said. “There is nothing anyone can say to make that pain and hurt go away.”

Concluding his homily, Fr Everard said: “One thing has been going through my mind in the last few days, when someone so young tragically dies, the question that has been in my mind is why do people carry knives? Again and again we hear that somebody’s life has ended and a knife was used. Why do we carry them? It’s when it comes to our own doorstep that we see the senselessness of it all.... We don’t need them. They bring too much pain and tragedy to people’s lives, as Conor’s family and Stephanie and all those who have known and loved him feel that pain in their loss at this time. Conor’s life was cut short. It could have been much longer, there was so much more he could have done, been a father to young Conor who will come into the world very very soon indeed.”

Conor’s sister Sinead read a poem for her late brother, describing how “brokenhearted” the family are, but how the “times we had will never, ever fade”.

His cousin, Samantha, spoke of how he “travelled far and wide” and how he would “do anything for each one of us”. 

“As someone once told me, when one life leaves the world another one arrives. We cannot wait for baby Conor junior to enter this world. It gives us all peace of mind to know there’s a part of you we have yet to meet... You brought a light so great to the world, that even after you are gone that light remains.”

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