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RIP Wife of tragic Ian McDonnell tells funeral says family was his 'greatest passion

I remember vividly seeing him for the first time, I was sitting in the car with my mom on the street down town"

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Ian McDonnell RIP

Ian McDonnell RIP

Ian McDonnell RIP

The wife of a businessman who was killed after he tried to stop his car being stolen at his workplace has told his funeral of their childhood sweetheart love.

Ian McDonnell (50), who was originally from Roscommon but lived in Dublin with his family, was today remembered as a gentleman, a family man, and a devoted member of the community.

Mr McDonnell passed away tragically after an incident on January 23.

He called to the Ozone Cars dealership on the Robinhood Road in Clondalkin, where he worked as manager, on the Sunday evening.

While he was there his car was stolen and he intervened to try to prevent it being driven away.

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Ozone Cars close to the scene on Robinhood Road where a vehicle struck Ian McDonnell (Photo by Steve Humphreys)

Ozone Cars close to the scene on Robinhood Road where a vehicle struck Ian McDonnell (Photo by Steve Humphreys)

Ozone Cars close to the scene on Robinhood Road where a vehicle struck Ian McDonnell (Photo by Steve Humphreys)

But he ended up on the bonnet as the car drove along the Robinhood Road, and was then found on the road at around 6.15pm with serious injuries.

He was then taken from the scene by ambulance to Tallaght University Hospital but died the following Friday.

Ian is survived by his wife Monica and children Clodagh, Gareth and Aoife, and also by his sister Sandra and wider family and friends.

At his funeral in St. Patrick’s Church in Elphin, Co Roscommon today, a smiling photograph of Ian was placed on top of his coffin, and flowers formed in the word ‘Dad’ were placed beneath it.

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Victim: Ian McDonnell

Victim: Ian McDonnell

Victim: Ian McDonnell

In her eulogy to her husband, Monica McDonnell told how Ian’s father was a bank manager, and it was his job that brought him to Elphin with his family, and how she remembered the first time she saw Ian.

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“I remember vividly seeing him for the first time, I was sitting in the car with my mom on the street down town.

"And this vibrant red Nissan Bluebird pulled up in front of us.

"A tall blond haired boy got out of the car. Mam asked ‘who is that young fella? I don't know him’. I said ‘that’s Ian McDonnell, the new bank manager's son.

"And God, I think he's lovely,” she said.

She told how they were childhood sweethearts, a love that would last for 32 years.

She also described how they bought their home in Lucan in 1999 and how their three children arrived.

“Becoming a father was the proudest moment in his life, a responsibility and duty he carried with great honour.

“There were many great passions in Ian’s life, his love of cars from a young age of spectating and participating in various car rally events throughout the country.

"The pinnacle of this achievement, completing the Circuit of Ireland in 2003.

“He just loved cars, from fast cars to classic cars and his beloved Beetle.

"There was no limit to his passion and knowledge. And this led him into his career in the motor trade. The children would often joke with me that with him unless there's a steering wheel attached to it, you can forget it.

“His greatest passion was his family.

"He was an incredible father standing at every side line on freezing Sunday mornings, wondering how he could be at three separate matches in three different parts of Dublin,” she continued.

“The greatest evil I could ever imagine passed through our lives like sliding doors on Sunday the 23rd of January that has altered our lives eternally.

"However, what has surpassed that viciousness has been the existence of the greatest good, the overpowering of kindness, humanity, compassion and support from my own family who have never left our sides over the past two weeks,” she said, thanking also all her neighbours and the communities of Lucan and Elphin.

“There is now a new chapter written for the children and I in our book of life.

"And I hope I can continue to nurture, care and guide Coldagh, Gareth and Aoife to be the best people they can become. The ground has become very fragile beneath me.

"And I will need to draw on your great strength and resilience to walk us all through the difficulties that lie ahead. Love you always Ian,” she added.

The Lucan Community College Choir performed during the Requiem Mass, singing Jealous of the Angels as the mass began.

Symbols brought to the altar by his children to represent Ian’s life were a helmet to represent his love of motor sport, a model VW Beetle to represent his love of cars. Ian was particularly fond of the Beetle, and his own beloved blue Beetle car was parked outside.

A Manchester United scarf was also brought to the altar.

Fr JJ Gannon said it was with a heavy heart that the communities of Lucan and Elphin gathered after Mr McDonnell’s life had come to a “shuddering halt”.

In his homily, For Gannon addressed Mr McDonnell’s family, saying they had lost him through cruel circumstances, to a callous act that seems to indicate that among humanity there is a loss of that virtue of humanity, that nothing matters but the individual and their own desires and ambitions.

“Everybody is subjected to simply being trampled under, and consequently the world from day one has become a place where sorrow and pain are everyday experiences.

“January will always be remembered as a wicked month because it was that time when from you was ripped away the love of your life, the father, the husband, the provider, the sustainer, the one who for years was your Anam Cara,” he added.

He told how Ian and Monica had married at the same church on July 22, 2000.

“[Ian] was somebody who was highly admired, somebody who enlightened in his own way as a young man, as a schoolboy, the community in which he resided,” he said.

“You have wondered and asked questions. Why? You have felt floundered under disbelief and you would have hoped it was not true.

“Yes, people pass. We pass from the womb, and we pass on apparently to the tomb. But the tomb is not our everlasting dwelling place,” he added.

Burial took place afterwards in nearby Caldra Cemetery.

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