TRAGIC The body of Brendan Kilduff was taken from a house in the townland of Coogue, near Aghamore, last Wednesday afternoon after the assistant state pathologist attended at the scene. Pic: Paul Mealey
Farmer (67) dies in what is believed to be a tragic incident
THE east Mayo region was rocked when news broke on Wednesday morning of the tragic death of local farmer, Brendan Kilduff, following a shooting incident at Coogue near Aghamore during the night.
It is understood that Brendan (67) called by to the home of another local farmer, Martin (Maut) Caulfield in Coogue around 11.30pm. There is speculation that Mr Caulfield was not aware that it was Brendan who had parked outside his home and, fearing an intruder, opened fire with his gun, fatally wounding Brendan in the tragic incident.
Mr Caulfield, who is in his mid-80s and who is widely known on the 25 card playing circuit for many years, was later questioned by Gardaí in relation to the tragedy and released without charge while further investigations are pending into the incident.
Brendan, from Sallyhernane, about two miles from Knock village, was an accomplished mechanic and had a life-long interest in cars and engines. He also took care of the family farm. He spent a few occasions on the picket-line outside the Dawn Meats plant in Ballyhaunis during the recent countrywide beef price protests. He was always prepared to take a stand and support the farming community at times of crisis in the industry.
The Parish Priest of Knock, Fr Richard Gibbons, who was the chief celebrant at the Funeral Mass in Knock Church on Saturday, told the capacity congregation that all present had gathered in the light of the tragic event to show their support for the family. “We are troubled, we are confused, we are, perhaps, angry and distraught. We don’t know exactly how to express our sympathies except by our presence here today.”
Fr Gibbons conveyed the condolences of the people of the parish and region to the Kilduff family circle and to the other family involved in this ‘tragic story’.
He spoke of Brendan’s early days as a mechanic in Ballyhaunis (Lynch’s Garage) before going to England where he worked for some years before returning to the family farm and also renewing his work as a mechanic, this time in Kiltimagh (Keane’s Garage).
“Brendan was a decent, obliging and kindly person. He had a big heart and found it hard to say no to anyone who asked him for help with work.
“He worked hard on his own farm and chores could be carried out at any time of the day or night. Brendan ‘time’ was not exactly Greenwich Mean Time and his watch may perhaps have been adapted to another time zone completely different to what was in general use anywhere else. But it never took from his kindness and his solidarity with other farmers as they seek justice.
“He loved social occasions and he had songs for all occasions. They often had many, many, many verses. Brendan was a man of the land, a man of family, a man of parish, a generous soul.”
‘Caring, strong, humorous’
His nephew Adrian Gildea, speaking at the end of the Mass, described Brendan as “caring, strong, humourous, man of faith, thankful, comedian, singer, storyteller, magician, and friend.”
He said how grateful his parents John and Kathleen were to have Brendan home when he came back from England to care for them and run the farm. He referred to his love of music and songs and time spent in the company of good and kind friends.
The well known traditional musician, Vinnie Kilduff, a native for Kiltimagh, and cousin of Brendan’s, played some haunting airs on the tin whistle and he was joined by Una Nolan and the parish choir
Family, friends and neighbours walked behind the hearse on Brendan’s last journey to the nearby cemetery where the graveside prayers were recited by Fr Gibbons. A large crowd had also attended the reposing ceremony in the Marian Funeral Home on Friday evening.
Brendan, who was predeceased by his brother John, is deeply regretted by his sisters Marion (Gildea), Bernadette (Walshe), nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law, neighbours and many friends.
The shooting has deeply shaken the east Mayo community, where both men were well-known and respected.
“There is great shock in the community from what happened. The two men were well-known in farming circles and both well liked. My heart goes out to all left behind,” local councillor John Caulfield saidlast Wednesday morning. The Gardaí are appealing to anyone with any information to contact Claremorris Garda Station on 094 9372080, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.