Colleagues of a serving Garda who passed away at the weekend provided a guard-of-honour at his funeral in Crusheen this morning.
Liam O’Haire (42), a native of Rathkelly, Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, was a serving member of An Garda Síochána stationed in Shannon and had previously served in Ennis. He passed away at his home in Crusheen on Sunday evening after battling illness.
A pair of motorcycle outriders escorted the funeral cortege from Liam’s home to the local church in Crusheen this morning. Locals lined the route while teachers, parents and pupils also gathered outside Crusheen National School as the hearse passed.
Serving and retired members of the force also provided a guard of honour along the street from the local Garda station to the church where the private funeral service was held.
Gardaí also lined the roadway to the local cemetery as family members carried Liam’s coffin to the grave. Plain clothes officers and members of the Roads Policing Unit also observed social distancing inside as they scattered themselves throughout the cemetery.
Senior officers from the Clare the Limerick Garda divisions also attended the funeral. They included Chief Superintendent Seán Colleran; Superintendent Brendan McDonagh; Superintendent John Galvin; Superintendent Dermot O’Connor; Superintendent John Ryan and Inspectors Paul Slattery, David Finnerty, Sandra Heelan, Morgan O Donoghue, Padraig Frawley and Detective Inspector Kieran Ruane.
An honour guard ceremoniously folded the tricolour that covered the coffin before it was presented to Liam’s wife Anna by Chief Superintendent Seán Colleran. The Last Post and Reveille was sounded by Garda Paul Hensey of the Garda Band.
A local music group sang ‘You’ll never walk along’ as well as a short medley of Mayo songs comprising ‘The Red and Green of Mayo’ and ‘Clare Island’ by the Sawdoctors.
Liam was a former Ballinrobe footballer and a member of a family with a long and distinguished association with the club. The club paid tribute to Liam in a statement.
Club chairman John Flannelly said: “Liam had fought illness for some time and news of his passing evoked deep sympathy in the Ballinrobe region.
From an early age, Liam joined his father Christy and mother Mary at club and county football training sessions and games and he went on to play at all underage levels for the club, Ballinrobe CBS (primary school) and Ballinrobe Community School (secondary).”
The family involvement in Ballinrobe GAA Club continues to the present day, with Liam’s sisters Marie and Chanelle actively involved in the club, and nephews Jason and Mark wearing the club colours at U14 and U12 levels respectively. In 2018, Liam watched his nephews play for Ballinrobe on a number of occasions. Indeed, Liam’s daughter, Alannah, has regularly attended training and games hosted by our Robe Rockets on her visits to Ballinrobe.”
“The club extends its deepest sympathy to Liam’s family at this sad time,” added club chairman Mr Flannelly.
Liam is survived by his wife, Anna; daughter, Alannah; son, Christopher; mother, Mary; sisters, Marie and Chanelle (Conneely); brothers-in-law, Paul, Donnie, Keith, Noel and Johnny; mother-in-law, Mary; and sisters-in-law, Lorraine, Esther and Caroline; and nephews, Jason and Mark.