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Final farewell Limerick mourns 'Cuchulainn' hurling star Paul Carey at funeral in Patrickswell

Hurling was his life” a friend remarked, as his coffin was draped in Patrickswell and Limerick GAA jerseys.

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Paul Carey

Paul Carey

RIP.ie

Paul Carey

A minute's silence was held before throw-in at Sunday’s Munster Final to honour former Limerick and Patrickswell hurler Paul Carey, who was laid to rest 24 hours beforehand, after losing his life last week in a road traffic collision, in Dubai.

Carey, whose nephew and All Star hurler Cian Lynch togged out for Limerick against Waterford, had an “amazing zest for life and ability for giving”, his funeral mass at Church of the Blessed Virgin, Patrickswell, heard.

“Hurling was his life” a friend remarked, as his coffin was draped in Patrickswell and Limerick GAA jerseys.

A sliotar laid by his remains on the altar was a “symbol of Paul’s conviction”, noted his sister Valerie Lynch, mother to Cian, during the socially-distanced funeral service which was broadcast online.

“He grabbed it, controlled it, he had vision, and he extinguished all obstacles and hindrances in his way, drove onto the target and scored and achieved all his goals,” she told mourners.

Carey, who hailed from a dynasty of Patrickswell hurling heroes, who was “proud as punch of the place as were his community proud of him,” the friend added.

He captained “The Well” to the club’s 18th championship victory in October 2003, trading blows and stealing ball from opposing finalists Adare, alongside his brothers Ciaran and Kevin on the day of celebration.

Speaking inside the small rural church, Ms Lynch summed up how much Carey’s warrior-like presence on the local hurling pitch had meant to everyone: “He was our Cúchulainn”.

Paul’s brother Sean said the family home was nestled beside “the most sacred of places - the Patrickswell hurling field”.

“We would need a contract from Netflix to create a movie to show the love and pride Paul had for his club, Tobar Phádraig,” he quipped.

The cortège paused briefly outside the local sportsground and friends and neighbours were reminded of past glory inspired by the local hurling hero.

Carey’s wife, Anna, a native of the Philippines, and who is expecting the couple’s second child, wept as she paid a poignant tribute to “the deepest love I could ever have imagined”.

“As broken-hearted as I am today, in the darkest and saddest moments of my life, I have realised how lucky I have been, we had 10 amazing years together.”

“Paul made me feel supported, understood, respected and completely and utterly loved. Most importantly, he gave me Fionn who brings so much joy to everyone around him,” Ms Carey added.

Paul, survived by his father Pa (pre-deceased by his mother Patricia), five brothers, and four sisters, was laid to rest in St Mary’s New Cemetery, a short distance from the hurling field he brought to life on so many previous occasions.

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