Mary of Sorrows, Queen of Peace – Fr. Joe

Coming back from Glasnevin cemetery during the week I drove down East Wall Road
towards Dublin Port. There were a number of Garda cars parked on the road, flashing
blue lights, and part of the road was coned off. I expected to be stopped and asked
“What’s the purpose of your journey sir?” by a friendly, if frozen Garda. But in fact, this
wasn’t a traffic check, but the scene of a murder. A crowd of sombre looking teenaged
boys were standing by a wall, bunches of flowers marked the spot where their young
friend had breathed his last, stabbed to death in an altercation over a stolen bike. I’d
heard the news flash during the previous evening and seen the picture on the media of
Josh Dunne wearing his Bohs kit in full flight, demonstrating his expertise at football. The
tributes were heartfelt and expressed appreciation for his many talents and deep regret
that he died in this way. I couldn’t but feel for these teenagers, feel the depth of their
loss, and at the same time hardly comprehend the terrible pain that his family woke to
this morning and will carry for ever. For a moment, I thought of stopping and getting out
and offering to share a prayer with them. They were like sheep without a shepherd. I’d
just come from a grave and had spent the morning accompanying another family in their
loss, and there has been a lot of loss locally during the past 10 days with multiple
funerals. But I drove on, made a quiet, private prayer, asked Mary of Sorrows, Queen of
Peace to bring grace to them all, to help them face loss, not to lose hope. I doubt if any
of them carry a knife or understand the darkness inside the person who stabs another.
Violence is another pandemic that we have to struggle with in life and we all have a part
to play in making the world a safer place. Please remember Josh, his family and friends
in your prayers this weekend.