Pauric’s work van was used to carry his coffin through Castletown Geoghegan on the way to his funeral Mass on Sunday.

Pauric was ‘a one man powerhouse of positivity and craic’

Community grieving following tragic loss

Pauric Kirby was a “one man powerhouse of positivity and craic”, whose untimely death has “left an enormous hole behind”, mourners were told at his funeral over the weekend.

The popular father of three, whose wife Nikki is expecting their fourth child, died on Wednesday morning from injuries sustained in a workplace accident at a premises on the Old Dublin Road in Mullingar.

As soon as news of his death emerged, tributes started pouring in for the well respected builder, who comes from a family with a long and distinguished history in the construction industry.

Speaking during Pauric’s funeral Mass at St Michael’s Church in Castletown Geoghegan, Fr David O’Hanlon said that the outpouring of grief from the wider community in the days after Pauric’s death and the support shown to the Kirby family were “unprecedented”.

“I am a priest 28 years I have never seen anything like this… I have never seen anything like it in my life. I have never seen a community wiped out, flattened by the tsunami of shock and grief that hit Castletown and much further afield last Wednesday. I have never seen anything like it. It was an earthquake. It was a catastrophe.”

Fr O’Hanlon said that Drake’s Bar was the location for a “sort of rolling wake… where grown men and women, young and old, were openly in tears as they tried to find some solace, some meaning, to excavate some comfort from this situation”.

Pauric was described by Fr O’Hanlon as someone whose life was defined by “work and love” for his family and that he will be remembered for his many charitable deeds.

“He was a one man powerhouse of positivity and, yes, craic; and support. I have been stopped in Mullingar and all over the place by people he has helped – helped with financial difficulties, helped with addiction problems, helped with mental health issues. He was a worker. His life was a life of work, achievement, helping. It was constructive.”

Speaking at the end of the funeral, Pauric’s father Pat thanked the people of Castletown Geoghegan and further afield for everything they had done in the days following his son’s death.

“We are just completely overwhelmed by the help and support that everybody gave. It’s beyond belief. We can’t thank everyone enough for rallying around us.

“We should be so proud that we have such a community, a parish, a county and a country. We really should. There are great people here. Pauric was one of the best of them.”

Among the hundreds of people who paid tribute to Pauric on the Westmeath Examiner’s Facebook page was Carla Thompson. Pauric and other local tradespeople recently fitted out and finished an extension to Mrs Thompson’s home that will make life a lot easier for her daughter, Lucy, who has a rare genetic disease.

Mrs Thompson said that Pauric’s passing was “so sad”.

"The kindest man who was so good to us. My heart is broke for his poor family. Life is so cruel. May you rest in peace."

Speaking on Midlands 103, local councillor Liam McDaniel said that Pauric was "the kind of person you'd love to meet".

"He had a very positive, happy go lucky attitude and always had a friendly smile on his face. This tragic news has really rocked the community but knowing the community we’ll be strong. The people will gather round and the support will be there."

Pauric recently did work on Deputy Robert Troy's home. Deputy Troy told Midlands103 that his passing is "heartbreaking".

"He is a young man who went to work in the morning and didn’t return home in the evening. It really is heartbreaking. His passing will create a sense of loss that will be felt by so many across the community, but especially for his family."

Predeceased by his grandparents Michael and Margaret (Kirby), grandfather Tom (Cleary) and his uncle Peter. Pauric's passing is deeply regretted by his heartbroken wife and best friend Nikki his adored children Van, Leah, Isla and his expected son Páidí, parents Pat and Mairéad, sister Niamh, brother Phelim, grandmother Mary (Cleary), mother-in-law Tracey, father-in-law Stephen, aunts, uncles, sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, grand uncles, grand aunts, cousins, relatives, neighbours and a wide circle of friends.