A WOMAN whose fiancé died after an altercation in Killarney at the weekend said he was her “one and only true love” who would always be “hugging her heart.”
IT Tralee graduate Darragh Sheehan was found unconscious outside the Gleneagle Hotel on the Muckross Road at about 11.30pm last Saturday.
The emergency services were called but the 26-year-old Doneraile, County Cork native was pronounced dead a short time later.
A postmortem has since been completed at University Hospital Kerry. The results were not released.
However, it is understood he died of asphyxiation.
At his requiem mass today in Doneraile, Fr Aidan Crowley read out a letter written by Mr Sheehan’s fiancée Karen O’Sullivan.
The couple got engaged in February of this year.
In the letter Ms O’Sullivan paid tribute to her partner saying they had an amazing life together surrounded by their five gorgeous dogs whom they loved bringing for walks in Doneraile Park.
‘ONLY TRUE LOVE’
He said: “Karen will never forget the moment he proposed to her back in February. His declaration of love and the tears in his eyes will stay with her forever.
“It was the beginning of their love and devotion to each other which will be forever lasting. No words can describe how wonderful as a fiancé he was.
“He truly was the most amazing, supportive and devoted person which Karen will always hold in her heart forever.
“He will always be hugging her heart. He was and always will be her one and only true love.”
His parents spoke movingly of their heartbreak at his loss.
Mum Hannah told mourners her life had effectively stopped at 12.23 last Sunday morning when she got that call that her first-born
had passed away.
She said: “No parent should have to suffer the heartbreak of losing their child. And we mourn in shock, all we can do now is remember Darragh as he was – a big-hearted hard-working honest and lovable son, brother, friend and fiancé.
“We remember a boy, a man that has given us so much pride.”
‘SOLID, GOOD DECENCY’
His dad, Thomas, said he took great pride in his son’s character.
He said: “Today I asked some people to go under the coffin and there was a degree of symbolism in that because the people I asked represented
solid, good decency – for me, that symbolism was important because it was a mirror image of the fella that was up on their shoulders”.
Mr Sheehan said they took comfort from how much their son was loved – especially by his fiancée Karen.
He said: “He loved her endlessly. You (Karen) were what completed him and for that we are eternally grateful.
“And the organic growth of the character blossomed a lot quicker when he had you at the side.”
Fr Crowley said that Darragh, who died in the “prime of his life”, was known for his “good nature” and his personable qualities.
‘GLOOM AND SHADOW’
He said the passing of Darragh had caused a “gloom and shadow” to fall upon his home town of Doneraile.
Fr Crowley told mourners that he met an old school teacher of Darragh’s who said that his past pupil never failed to “salute” him on the road.
He added: “He said every time you would meet him (Darragh) he would always salute you and he would always take time to stop to say ‘how are things with you?’
“You might say ‘So what.’ But I can assure you after 30 years of being a priest, I can assure you that little things like that are what life is made up of.
“An interaction you might have with somebody might mean nothing to you but I can assure you it means so much to other people.
“A simple thing like a smile. You can make a person’s day with a smile and you can destroy a person’s day with a frown.
“I heard so many stories about Darragh with his horses, his hounds, on the football field but again what keeps coming through is his nature.
“That nature just doesn’t happen. That nature was there from when he was baptised. His nature was also nurtured.”
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Offertory gifts included a football, a picture of his pomeranian dogs, a riding hat to signify his love of horses and a golf club.
Darragh is survived by his parents Tom and Hannah, his siblings Kevin and Fiona and his fiancée Karen.
He was laid to rest at Oldcourt Cemetery following 2pm mass at the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.