A LEADING member of Limerick's northside criminal gang was laid to rest in Castlemungret cemetery this Wednesday afternoon - after he accidentally shot himself in the head last Saturday morning.
Doves and pigeons were released into the air during the burial of Philip Collopy, 29, from St Munchin Street, St Mary's Park.
Up to 200 people attended the funeral in St Mary's Church on Athlunkard Street, where the Very Reverend Donough O'Malley spoke of how life is often full of contrasts, between "joy and sadness, grace and sin."
Gardai believe that during a party with friends in the early hours of last Saturday morning Mr Collopy may have taken a loaded magazine out of a handgun and was inspecting it, prior to putting it to his head. It is believed he was unaware that there was one live bullet left in the chamber.
Mr Collopy was well-known to gardai locally, having amassed convictions for possession of a weapon, assault, escaping from custody and criminal damage. Gardai maintained a visible presence outside the church, where members of the armed Regional Support Unit were also present.
The funeral procession made its way up O'Connell Street this Wednesday lunchtime, bringing traffic in the city to a standstill.