Family's heartbreak after Thomas found dead in car
An Enniscorthy family has been left bereaved and baffled by the death of 48-year-old chef and hairdresser Thomas Nolan from Cherryorchard, whose car was reported on fire at Oulart Hill last week.
The peaceful beauty spot became a scene of horror as flames were seen coming from the vehicle on Thursday afternoon. Enniscorthy Fire Brigade was called to the car park serving the hill shortly before 5 p.m., and alerted gardaí to the sad fact that the car contained what appeared to be a body.
The badly burnt remains of a man were subsequently recovered from the scene and brought to Waterford Regional Hospital for post mortem examination on Friday morning. The registration of the car led gardaí to an Enniscorthy family, who endured a traumatic wait for formal identification of the victim.
The shock felt at his passing was in evidence at yesterday's (Monday) celebration of funeral Mass at St Aidan's Cathedral, where a large congregation was in attendance. Chief mourner was the deceased's mother Stasia, for whom he had been caring for the past five years.
He is also mourned by his two sisters Maureen and Colette as well as his four brothers: Michael, John Patrick and Barry. He was pre-deceased by his father Michael, who died 18 years ago.
The attendance heard cathedral administrator Fr Richard Lawless speak of the impact that such a sudden tragedy has had on the family. He also recalled the outgoing, lovable, helpful and kind nature of Thomas Nolan, who he described as a free spirit and an adventurous soul.
Educated in the Presentation primary and later the CBS, the deceased first worked as a chef at the Great Southern Hotel and Saltees Hotel. He then moved to Buenos Aires in Argentina where he took up a new career as a hairdresser, later working in Dublin and at George's Hair Salon on his return to Ireland. His interests included gardening, fishing, house painting, looking for bargains at car boot sales and travelling around in his camper van.
Mourners at yesterday's Funeral also heard Fr Lawless note how the deceased had recently become troubled in spirit, but when he tried to reach out for help, it did not come quickly enough. The priest commented that the tragedy had evoked great sorrow and suggested that the death should be a spur to provision of practical care in the future.
Music in the cathedral was provided by Ted Quinn and Fr Lawless was joined in the church by Fr Jim Nolan, parish priest in Davidstown. Interment afterwards was in the cemetery at Castledockrell. The family asked sympathisers to make donations to Console rather than send flowers.