Scrambler bikers bring Douey on his final journey

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Scrambler bikers provide a guard of honour for Anthony Douey McCormack as his funeral leaves St John's Cathedral.

A GROUP of scrambler motorbike riders led the funeral of their friend Anthony “Douey’ McCormack to his final resting place after he died in a motorcycle collision last weekend.

The 26-year-old father of two from Derrynane, Old Cork Road, Limerick, was remembered at his funeral mass this afternoon as “a lovable rogue” who was devoted to his children and motorbikes.

He died instantly when his motorcycle struck a wall and metal fence, at O’Malley Park, Southill last Sunday afternoon.

A group of his friends on scrambler motorbikes, led the funeral cortège from St John’s Cathedral, Limerick City, to his grave nearby at Mount St Oliver Cemetery.

Speaking at the funeral Mass, Mr McCormack’s sister, Stacie Bourke, said her brother “loved so many things, and unfortunately he loved motorbikes, but what he loved more than anything else were his two babies, Ajay and Melanie; they were the greatest gifts he ever had, and he would have walked over mountains for them”.

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“Anthony was a lovable rogue, a real family man, our protector and our back up. Some of you might have seen him as a tough guy but I knew him as my little brother, and I was the only one who was able to call him “little brother.”

“When we were younger he would have done anything to play with me – Barbie dolls, house, dress up, yes I put him in my dresses, shoes, heels, mam’s jewellery, the whole lot. Mam has photographic evidence if you’d like to see it, he’ll probably come back and haunt me for telling ye that,” she joked.

Becoming emotional, Ms Bourke thanked “the community, family and friends, everyone who has come and given support this past week”.

She received a loud applause from the congregation as she summed up the tragic impact of her brother’s death on the family: “So we say our goodbye ‘Ant’, we love you so much, our family chain is broken once again and nothing seems the same, but when God calls us one by one, our chain will link again.”

Several family members left items personal to Mr McCormack beside his coffin including, a picture of his children “a symbol of his proudest achievement”; a print of his hand symbolising “his strength and the size of his heart”; a bottle of red sauce “as a symbol of Anthony’s love of food because red sauce went with everything he ate”; a wooden box representing his love of woodwork; and “his festival hat, symbolising his  love of music festivals”.

Fr Tom Mangan, Parish Priest Donoughmore, described Mr McCormack’s sudden death as a terrible and awful tragedy.

“Anthony loved his motorcycles and he was always very careful on them, but sadly and terribly on Sunday afternoon, something happened that created all of this, so his loss has been so difficult and so sad, and so overwhelming.”

Fr Mangan who praised the “strong bond” of the family, told them: “As you’re grieving, you’ve talked a lot, there have been moments of terrible silence, tears, laughter and sharing memories, and that is important, to have some way to find a little bit of healing through all of this”.

Gardai at Roxboro Road who are investigating the circumstances of the single vehicle collision have appealed for witnesses to contact them on 061-214340.