THERE were poignant scenes as a popular young man from Killarney, who died following a road traffic collision in the UK, was laid to rest in his home town this Friday.
David Breen was cycling on a roadway when he was struck by a vehicle in Sussex in the south east of England on October 26.
The incident occurred at approximately 8.20pm and Sussex Police said the 26-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. The collision, involving a silver Vauxhall Zafira, happened on the A286 main road in Birdham, Chichester.
A fine soccer player, David, originally from Countess Grove in Killarney, had been living and working in the Chichester area.
In the days leading up to the tragedy, his parents, Anthony and Anne, were visiting him in the UK to help him to settle into a new house. The accident happened as he cycled home after playing in a charity soccer match.
At his Requiem Mass in St Mary’s Cathedral today, Fr Niall Howard said for a young man to lose his life and for it to happen in a road accident heaps tragedy upon tragedy.
He reflected on David’s commitment to his work in construction and in hotels which helped him to find his feet at home, in Portugal and in England.
Fr Niall said it was a consolation that David got to spent two days with his parents just prior to the tragedy and it was his generous heart that brought him out on the fateful night as he wanted to play his part in a football match for charity.
“His last days were filled with love and with generosity,” he said.
The congregation heard that David loved and missed Killarney and he treasured every card and photo sent but this should never have been his homecoming as no parent should every see the funeral of their child.
“It is against the order of life but, sadly, too many do,” the celebrant said.
Symbols brought to the altar to remember David’s loves in life included a family photograph as his family was at the centre of his life, a Ronaldo shirt to celebrate his love for soccer and a picture stand he bought on the day he died when he was out shopping in Chichester with his mother.
At a meeting of Killarney Municipal District Council on Wednesday, tributes were paid to David and condolences were expressed to his grieving family.
Cllr Donal Grady said the Breen family is highly respected in the community where David’s dad, Anthony, was a very dedicated worker with Kerry County Council and was a member of the fire service while his mother, Anne, is a familiar school safety warden on New Road and worked with Tesco for many years before that.
“This is an awful loss and an awful whack for Killarney. They are a lovely family and the community needs to rally round and mind them now,” Cllr Grady said.
The beloved son of Anne and Anthony and much loved brother of Shane and Anthony, David is further survived by his aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives and his many friends in Ireland and England. He has been laid to rest in Killarney Burial Ground.