Dunmore & fishing community mourns for Jack Power (25)
Death had come to the Brownstown area of Dunmore East like ‘a thief in the night’, mourners were told at the Requiem Mass of Jack Power (25), who was fatally stabbed in the early hours of Thursday morning last. During his Homily at a packed Our Lady’s Church in Carbally, with hundreds more gathered outside, Chief Celebrant Father Donal Hogan said that Jack was “clearly a popular and well-loved person in this community”.
Under grey skies on Sunday morning last, Fr Hogan added: “Now he’s been snatched like a thief in the night…(death) comes when we don’t expect it.”
Addressing mourners, Jack’s mother Loretta said his passing “will leave a huge void in our family”.
“Loyalty was important to him, one of his best qualities. Jack has a lot of friends and they all know who they are today and will miss him very much.
“Jack’s life was so short but he lived it to the full…He worked hard and played hard, was very witty and loved the craic.”
Mr Power, who had followed his Father Richard and Grandfather Jack into fishing, died at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) on Thursday last after he was stabbed following an incident at the Shanakiel estate in Dunmore East.
A 17-year-old male was arrested by Gardaí at approximately 3.40am that same morning for questioning and was brought to Waterford Garda Station, where he was released without charge at 1am on Friday last. A file on the fatal assault is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
): Amidst the sadness and deep shock evident in the faces of many mourners on Sunday morning last, Loretta Power could not have struck a more loving and dignified note when addressing the congregation to honour her son.
In recent days, she had learned of several stories about Jack for the first time, including “a few eventful trips to Amsterdam with a gang of his friends – you know who you are as well – and a leg waxing episode…but (among) the more timid ones were when we were asking him about washing dishes in cold water, Jack’s reply was: ‘You should see the water on the Girl Geraldine’ (the boat he worked on).”
“But the best of the lot,” according to Mrs Power, “was for his Leaving Cert Irish paper question, his answer was ‘I don’t know anything about Irish, but I’m some man to haul nets’. Typical Jack! I used to tell him off for not coming home sometimes – I gave out to him plenty of times – and later on, he’d throw his arms around me and say, ‘Ah, but you love me, Ma’, and all would be forgiven. We all have memories of Jack and through them, he’ll always be remembered. And I would like to thank everybody here today for their help and support over the last few days. It was very much appreciated. Thank you very much.”
Fr Donal Hogan, who was joined by Killea Parish Priest Father Brian Power at Sunday morning’s Requiem Mass, shared the thoughts of Jack’s father Richard and brothers Ben and Lee during his Homily.
“The family can attest that the life and death of Jack has (left) its influence on each of them. His two younger brothers, Ben and Lee, shared who Jack was for them, this was how he influenced them: they said he was a great big brother. He was a role model. And they said: ‘if we would be like Jack, we’d be doing very well’. I don’t think we can say anything more than that: ‘if we’d be like Jack, we’d be doing very well,’ and that’s coming from those who know him best, his family, his brothers. And they went on. Loyal was one of the words that kept being repeated. Jack was loyal, and I can see some of you nodding in agreement. He would always stand by you. A true friend. He stood up for people in the right without any fuss. He was care-free, easy to please. He was humble, like the Gospel reading, ‘Happy and blessed are the gentle’. He wouldn’t tell others what to do, but he would support them. And he loved animals…like the great Saint Francis.”
Referring to the thoughts of Jack’s father, Richard, Fr Hogan stated “how proud they were of Jack, even when he wouldn’t do what they wanted him to do, they still were very proud of him, and that’s saying a lot about them as well, of course. He was independent, he was his own man making his way his life, again loyal to his parents. He adored them. He has a sense of humour and a great laugh. I saw a photograph of him on the boat at the house yesterday, and he looked as if he was really enjoying life…lord of all he surveyed, the world was his oyster. And now he’s been snatched like a thief in the night, that’s what death has been described as; it comes when we don’t expect it. His Dad also said: ‘For Jack, friends were a huge thing’ and you are witnesses to this in the very presence of so many. I could not believe it coming here, and even since coming so many more came since, so you yourselves are living witnesses to this person that you knew and loved.”
Fr Hogan concluded: “I think Jack could make his own the last verse of that beautiful psalm, The Good Shepherd, I think he could say this of himself. ‘Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life. In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell forever and ever, Amen.’”
Metropolitan Mayor Joe Kelly (Ind) was also among the mourners, along with Councillor Jim Griffin (SF) in addition to fellow Councillor and local resident Pat Fitzgerald (SF), Cllr John Hearne (SF) and Cllr Eddie Mulligan (FF).
According to a neighbour of the Power family: “There’s never been a funeral of this size like this in Carbally that I can remember.”
To see Dunmore Harbour that same day populated by trawlers in honour of Mr Power, many of which had sailed from neighbouring southern ports such as Union Hall, represented a guard of honour unique to the fishing community that he was so proudly a member of.
Jack Power is survived by parents Loretta and Richard, brothers Ben and Lee, Grandmother Peggy Doyle, Grandfather Eddie Power, Godmother Jennifer, Godson Evan, his extended family and many friends. The deceased was interred at the New Cemetery in Carbally following Requiem Mass. May he Rest In Peace