Clondalkin community rallies around family and raise substantial amount for funeral
By Maurice Garvey
THE North Clondalkin community of Harelawn have rallied to support a family stricken with tragedy – and have raised a substantial amount of money to help with funeral costs.
Harelawn Avenue resident Gareth (Garzy) O’Connor (27) sustained a serious head injury at Cow’s Lane in Temple Bar last week, and passed away in St James Hospital.
The father-of-three already endured tragedy in his life – losing both his parents Raymond and Esther by the time he was just 13 years of age.
Kindhearted locals rallied to support the family in the wake of the tragedy, raising €1,000 alone during house-to-house collections in Harelawn.
Family friend Paula Haverty established a Go Fund me page, to cover funeral costs and set a target of €5,000 – but this was reached in just three days thanks to 145 donors.
One mystery person donated €800 and there was a flood of donations from the wider community – many shocked at the news and lamenting the loss of a friend.
Paula, a close friend of the family, said: “It’s so heartbreaking. We all know the history of the family and that’s where the community spirit kicks in, to try and do something for them.
“Gareth was a young man, so full of life and energy. There is no life insurance, but it’s so so sad that his kids will grow up without their father, just like Gareth grew up without his parents.
She continued: “He comes from a big family with eight siblings and his sister Fran reared them when his parents died. This has affected three families. The ripple effect has caused heartache for Gareth’s family, the O’Connor family and Natalie’s family, who loved him as one of their own.”
Gardaí arrested and later released four men without charge in relation to the one-punch attack in Temple Bar.
On Tuesday, gardaí arrested two women aged in their early 20s.
One of the women was released without charge that night and the other woman was released without charge on Wednesday. A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
A funeral date has yet to be arranged for Gareth, a former St Bernadette’s student and member of Arthur Griffith FC.
Garzy leaves behind his partner Natalie Devitt, his three babies, his siblings Fran, Sandra, Raymond, Sarah, Patrick, James, John-Paul, Thomas and his many nephews and nieces.
A fundraiser is being held in the Cold Cut Club on October 7, with all proceeds raised on the night going towards the family.
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