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Family of Irish millionaire left numb by sudden death, mourners told

Published 22/01/2009

The family of Irish millionaire businessman Patrick Rocca, who is believed to have killed himself, have been left numb by his sudden death, mourners at his funeral were told yesterday.

Celebrities from the worlds of sport, broadcasting and politics were among hundreds of mourners who spilled out of a church in Dublin to bid a final farewell to the entrepreneur.

The 42-year-old (pictured with his wife Annette), who built on his family’s fortune during Ireland’s Celtic Tiger boom years, was found in his home on Monday with a gunshot wound.

Gardai are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death but foul play is not suspected.

Father John Daly told mourners at the funeral mass at St Mochta’s Church, Porterstown, that the family had been left “numb” by the Mr Rocca’s death.

He said it would be a dishonour to Mr Rocca’s wife Annette, their two sons Patrick and Stuart, and his parents Paddy and Maureen to dwell on the circumstances of his death.

Nor would he be dwelling on his worldly success as a businessman, he told the congregation, among them Irish international and Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given. Instead, he said he wanted to highlight the generosity of Mr Rocca, who gave money to charities and hospitals.

Mr Rocca’s sister Michelle Rocca, the partner of singer Van Morrison, was among family members who paid tribute.

He was beautiful and kind, the former Miss Ireland said. “We love you, Patrick,” she added.

Also among the mourners were former taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s ex-wife Miriam Ahern, and model Glenda Gilson.

Mr Rocca, who was one of Ireland’s best known businessmen, was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

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