The family and friends of a young man who died following an attack in Co Kildare are overcome with “sadness, disbelief and anger”, a local priest has said.
Dylan McCarthy, from Kilmallock in Co Limerick, died on Monday after he was assaulted in the early hours of Sunday.
It is understood the 29-year-old had been attending a family event in Monasterevin.
A bunch of flowers was left at the scene where the attack took place.
Fr Chris O’Donnell, a family friend, said there is a blanket of sadness over Kilmallock.
“There are no words. It’s sadly unimaginable really and there’s been a few tragedies, even in Limerick just in the last few days as well,” Fr O’Donnell told RTE Morning Ireland.
“As a community, our thoughts are with Dylan’s family, his parents and sister, they’re just such a good quiet, unassuming family who are held in great esteem here.
“We’re devastated for them. I wish they, and other innocent families could be spared these tragic events. It’s like there’s a cloud or a blanket of sadness resting on the town of Kilmallock and also the neighbouring parishes.
“People are devastated. Just a lot of sorrow and sadness, disbelief and anger really.”
He said that Dylan had recently moved to Cork and was very involved in his local GAA team.
“Between neighbours and friends and work colleagues, former teachers, the GAA community, the ripples are everywhere because he was very popular, they’re a lovely family,” Fr O’Donnell added.
“I suppose it’s every parent’s nightmare and nearly every parent in the area now are thinking of their own children and hopefully holding them a little closer because in many ways it seems like Dylan is everyone’s son and brother at the moment.
“Just a lovely family and awful shock for everyone.
“We’re not the only community reeling and these tragedies leaves everyone questioning.
“Goodness always wins out too. There’s a lot of care and love going their way.
“I know the focus here in Kilmallock is: ‘How will we respond?’ And I know the community, such a great community, will envelop Dylan’s family in as much love and light and support as possible, because I suppose such great tragedies need to be met with even greater love.
“At times of tragedy we see the innate goodness of people, they tend to prompt an outpouring of love and care.
“Our purpose here now is to try and reach out and be there for the family and give them reasons to hope because they deserve that.”
In a social media post, Kilmallock gaelic club said: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we at Kilmallock GAA pass on our heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Dylan McCarthy.
“Dylan played underage hurling and football at underage level and also played u21 and junior hurling.
“He was a huge addition to any team and a real team player always.
“To (his parents) Eamon, Marita and (sister) Orla, Dylan’s partner Aoife, extended family and friends we are sorry for your great loss. We will remember Dylan always.”
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