Mother's Day heartbreak as murdered son Karol Kelly is laid to rest
A woman who buried her son in Londonderry yesterday heard his death described as a "merciless murder" by a priest.
Hundreds of mourners gathered at St Mary's Church in Creggan for the funeral of father-of-five Karol Kelly (35).
During Requiem Mass Fr Joe Gormley reminded the congregation of the particularly poignant loss to Mr Kelly's mother, who had the heartbreak of laying her son to rest on Mother's Day.
In his homily the priest told of a pilgrimage he made with Mr Kelly's parents in September to the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Krakow, Poland.
"Last Sunday morning a dark cloud descended on our city, as news broke of Karol's merciless murder, news that could easily have sent us all into despair," he said.
"On Monday, when I visited Francis and Philomena, Philomena said to me: 'Now I know why we went to Poland'.
"It was a moment in which it seemed that the Holy Spirit spoke through her in the midst of her shock and anguish.
"It was a reminder that the merciless murder of Karol would not put out the message of God's mercy.
"Nevertheless, an act of man's inhumanity to man brought a deep darkness into the lives of Karol's children, Kerri, Lucy, Cormac, Abigail and Jax.
"This merciless act has left, on this Mother's Day, a mother, Philomena, with her husband Francis, burying their son. Francesca, Emma Louise and Paul are burying their brother."
Fr Gormley said Mr Kelly (below) would be remembered for different things by everyone in his family, but all of them with love.
He added: "Karol was graced with the love of his parents and family.
"To his sister Francesca, Karol was someone who had a sensitive soul and who would be open to sharing with Francesca his spiritual search for a deeper understanding of life and the world we live in.
"With Emma Louise he shared a love of the care of animals and gave her support in her career and missions to save animals.
"His brother Paul, for Karol, was a brother he was proud of. They loved to coach and support each other in personal fitness.
"He was blessed in recent years with the care and friendship of Farah.
"At the centre of his life are his children Kerri, Lucy, Cormac, Abigail and Jax.
"He doted on them and was protective of them. He so much would want them to be spared the anguish that his merciless death has visited upon them.
"In their pain and confusion they will need to experience the mercy and love of God through us.
"Karol would not want them to grow up in a merciless world."
Following the service, Mr Kelly was laid to rest in the City Cemetery.
Three males, Sean Anderson (19) and Gary Anderson (20), both of Grafton Street, and a 17-year-old youth have been charged with Mr Kelly's murder.
The Andersons were remanded in custody after a brief appearance at Derry Magistrates Court on Tuesday and will appear in court again on March 29 via video-link. The youth will be back in court on March 28.