Irish neighborhood gathers in tribute to stabbed busker Thomas O’Halloran



he “proud” and “robust” Irish neighborhood got here collectively for a musical tribute to “loving” busker Thomas O’Halloran, the 87-year-old Irishman who died after he was stabbed to demise on his mobility scooter in London.

Greater than 100 members of the Irish neighborhood, many sporting sports activities jerseys, gathered on Sunday morning at Cayton Street in Greenford, west London, to commemorate Mr O’Halloran with Irish music and prayers.

Mr O’Halloran, initially from Ennistymon in Co Clare, was identified to busk frequently by the prepare station in Greenford and tributes included songs he carried out.

He performed the accordion and had lately been busking to lift cash for Ukraine, when he would have the nation’s flag draped over the entrance of his scooter.

Tributes to Thomas O’Halloran left in Greenford (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) / PA Wire

Ambrose Gordon, 61, mentioned his good friend would have “cherished” the tribute.

“He’d be there on his little trolley and he’d have been enjoying his tunes and issues like that.”

Mr Gordon, initially from Co Galway, instructed the PA information company: “I’m 60 years right here and I’ve seen events, every kind of events, and we’re a really robust neighborhood, very, very robust.

“We got here from each county as we speak. All of us wore our jerseys, so we’re very proud Irishmen, regardless of the actual fact we’re right here 60 years.”

One other good friend, 65-year-old Gerry Hehir, instructed PA that Mr O’Halloran’s demise “shocked” the neighborhood.

Mr Hehir, from close by South Harrow, mentioned: “I’ve lived right here for 29 years. It’s a shock, the best way it occurred. I imply, there’s loads of tragedies in London and within the wider place and all all through the world, however it’s a really, very unhappy factor.”

A girl lays flowers in reminiscence of Mr O’Halloran (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) / PA Wire

He described Mr O’Halloran as “very quiet {and professional}”, including he was “a really loving man and a really caring man, and he was “making an attempt to gather for Ukraine, for the appalling catastrophe there”.

“He will probably be very effectively remembered for all the pieces he’s finished for the neighborhood.”

Mr Hehir described the occasion as a “unhappy event which become what I’d name not joyful however the easing of individuals coming collectively. I believe it meant quite a bit to the household and to all of us”.

Earlier than the ceremony, flowers, candles and a vial of holy water have been laid on the website close to the place Mr O’Halloran was stabbed.

One tribute learn: “They are going to rejoice on the sound of your music. Heaven is particular since you are there.”

Greater than 100 folks paid tribute on the occasion (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) / PA Wire

Native parish priest Father Tom Daly led the neighborhood in prayer, saying: “We pray as we speak for Tom, who died so violently.

“Within the face of this sort of terrible incident, we don’t know what to do and other people really feel utterly helpless.”

He added: “That is one factor to do, is to assemble in solidarity. Solidarity with the household, whom we pray for, Thomas, whom we pray for, and with each other in the neighborhood right here gathered.”

In the course of the occasion, native musicians performed a number of songs, together with Now I’m Simple by the Dubliners, because the neighborhood clapped and sang alongside.

– Lee Byer, 44, will seem on the Previous Bailey on Tuesday charged with Mr O’Halloran’s homicide.

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