Joint funerals of father and son take place in Letterkenny

Daniel and Damien Duffy died in suspected murder-suicide last Thursday

A priest has paid tribute to the family of a Co Donegal father and son who died in a suspected murder-suicide for putting love before their search for justice.

Fr Kevin Gillespie spoke at the joint funerals of Daniel and Damien Duffy, which took place at St Eunan's Cathedral in Letterkenny on Monday.

A large crowd gathered outside the cathedral to pay their respects to the men who died in tragic circumstances at their home at Windy Hall on Thursday afternoon last.

Gardaí are working on the theory that Damien (50) killed his father Daniel (88) before taking his own life at the bungalow home they shared.


Fr Gillespie paid tribute to the remaining members of the Duffy family. “It was a profound love with which you, the family, have approached the last few days,” he said.

The priest spoke about how their “deep Christian faith” allowed them to approach it “with equanimity, in a measured fashion, with deep respect and with courage and strength”.

He added: “It has transformed the moment into one which, away from unwanted attention, has been lived with the light of love winning out over the instinct for justice.”

Both men had worked for the ESB, and former work colleagues formed a guard of honour as the coffins were carried outside. A grandson of Mr Duffy Snr walked at the head of the cortege, holding portrait photographs of the deceased.

‘Always together’

Fr Gillespie said both men were so close in all they did which made what happened all the more difficult to “understand or accept”.

He said: “Time and again, it was said if you called to Duffys for a brief visit, you always stayed longer than intended. Even if you refused the tea, it was placed before you anyway. You would enjoy his storytelling with that great wit.

“His tremendous wit and neighbourliness drew people to him. His great intelligence and his great practical and electrical know-how meant that he was the first port of call for repairs and conundrums of any kind.

“It was a quality shared by Damien and Dan took great pride in Damien’s ability. They were always together, from Damien’s childhood right up to their untimely and unimagined end.

“Daniel and Damien did everything together. They were, lifelong, a great team and it makes what has happened all the harder to understand or to accept.”

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