a good father | 

GoFundMe page set up to raise funds for tragic homeless Dublin dad's funeral

Thomas (Lynch) Boyd Dowling was a cousin of Sandra Boyd, who was fatally shot in the chest last weekend
Thomas (Lynch) Boyd Dowling RIP

Thomas (Lynch) Boyd Dowling RIP

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

A GoFundMe page has been set up by a son of the tragic homeless Dublin dad whose body was tragically discovered in a tent last week to raise funds for his funeral.

Entitled ‘Help Thomas get the send off he deserves', the fundraiser established by Dylan Walker, the son of Thomas (Lynch) Boyd Dowling, has raised €2,687 of a €5,000 goal so far.

The dad-of-seven was a cousin of Sandra Boyd, who was fatally shot in the chest last weekend.

Mother-of-five Sandra (36) who died after she suffered a gunshot wound at a house on Collins Place, Finglas last Saturday, will be laid to rest next week.

It is the third tragedy to hit the family in as many months as another cousin, 19-year-old Josh Boyd, died in a motorbike accident on New Year's Day.

In a “few words from Dylan” Thomas’s son has written that he is “just reaching out to everyone for any help at all towards my dad’s funeral.

Thomas was also known as Red Tomo

Thomas was also known as Red Tomo

“…as it was totally unexpected, my dad was a good father, grandad, brother, uncle, and many more things anything at all would help would gratefully appreciate to give him the best send off he deserves, thank you.”

A candle-light vigil was to be held outside the gates of the Dail on Thursday in memory of Thomas, who was also known as Red Tomo, after his body was discovered by gardaí at Loftus Lane, between Bolton Street and Parnell Street.

An investigation is now underway into the circumstances surrounding his death.

Kiera Gill - of A Lending Hand - an outreach charity, posted a poignant picture of Thomas on Facebook after his death writing: “This is Thomas, he died on our streets yesterday in a tent in a lane, alone.

“We will be holding a candlelight vigil outside the gates of the Dail on Thursday at 7.30pm to remember Thomas as the human he was and to remind our peers to start looking after and providing adequate hostel accommodation, so no other person has to die alone in a tent on the street, please join us.

“He is not just ‘a homeless person’. He was a person,” Keira added: “A person with a face and a family who loved him!!

"A decent person that fell on hard times, we met him every week, we probably gave him the tent he died in.

“The only home on offer to him at the time. We need to stop being so desensitized by just another homeless person.

"He was Homeless but he was much more than just that.

“He always waited his turn, he was never rude, had lovely manners and always looked out for us girls.

“His friends on the streets are also devastated to lose another pal to the neglect of our peers.

“Please join us in remembering Thomas on Thursday, bring a candle and let's not let his death be in vain.”

Speaking to the Sunday World, Keira explained that she knew Thomas personally as part of her work helping the homeless.

“He was always in good form,” Keira said.

"You can always see the sadness behind the smile but he was always respectful, he had manners.

"You know, he’d tell the other lads, (who would be queuing) ‘the girls can only serve one person at a time, give them a minute’.

“I have been in touch with his family and it is obvious that he was very much loved.

“He had his issues with alcohol but they said he was free spirit and no one could tie him down.”

Sandra Boyd

Sandra Boyd

In a message to Keira, a family member said Thomas had six children as well as a baby, Michael, who had passed away at just three months 19 years ago.

“He has three grandsons and two more on the way soon,” the family added.

“Thomas was a gentle soul who unfortunately lost his way.

“He would always be there to help everyone, bar himself. He was 44.”

Meanwhile, his cousin Sandra’s funeral mass will take place on Monday, March 28, in St Canice's Roman Catholic Church, Finglas at 11.30am, before a burial at Glasnevin Cemetery.

A notice on RIP.ie reads: “The death has occurred of the late Sandra Boyd (19 March 2022) suddenly, surrounded by her loving family.

“Sadly missed by her loving mother Teresa, stepfather Alan, father Derek, fiancé Darren, loving children Ben, Jordan, Luke, Carter and loving daughter Darcy, sisters Tanya, Mandy, Nicola, Danielle, Melissa and Megan, brothers Derek and Gerard, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins, extended family and a very wide circle of friends. May She Rest in Peace.

“A funeral will take place on Monday at St Canice's Roman Catholic Church, Finglas, for 11.30am Mass, thereafter to Glasnevin Cemetery for burial.”

Sandra’s brother Derek Boyd (27) was charged with possession of a semi-automatic pistol after his sister was fatally shot in what a court heard was a “heartbreaking tragedy” on Wednesday evening.

He appeared in court accused of firearms offences in connection with what his defence said was a “terrible accident”.

Members of his family wept and hugged him, saying "we love you so much" as he sobbed: "I'm sorry," before he was remanded in custody to Cloverhill District Court on March 30.

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