A young Limerick man who died in a road crash last weekend was “loving, unique, kind, and effervescent”, his heartbroken mother told his funeral mass on Friday.
Julie Buckley paid a loving tribute to her “funny, precious”, son Luke, 20, who she said had “blessed” his family with laughter, joy, and warm hugs.
A talented goalkeeper with the South Liberties hurling club, Mr Buckley died when his car left a road and struck a wall close to Ballyneety, Co Limerick, as he drove home from work, around 12.40am, last Monday morning.
A large crowd of mourners packed inside the small rural St Patrick’s Church, Knockea, and stood outside listening on loudspeakers heard Mr Buckley was “a great man for the hugs and kisses, and for the warm greetings” he gave visitors to their home in East Limerick.
Ms Buckley said her son “loved singing and dancing and rap music” and joked that their neighbours must have known every time Luke had taken a shower as the “boom boom” of the music would be blaring out of the bathroom window at their home.
“He had a marvelous personality, he was laid back, charming, and he had a winning smile.”
Sharing treasured family memories, particularly “throughout Covid when we had Luke all to ourselves” they enjoyed side-splitting games of charades, and Limerick-born Luke enjoyed nothing more than slagging his Cork parents “when Limerick hammered Cork” in the senior hurling championship.
Mr Buckley had loved the simple pleasures of life, including “his grandmother’s brown bread, Clonakilty sausages, his Dad’s toasted sandwiches, and a Sunday roast”.
Ms Buckley joked: “Yes, Luke loved his grub, he was the only fella I ever saw finish a Sunday roast and then wash it all down with a bowl of porridge”.
Julie Buckley held her husband Michael Buckley as he thanked their neighbours, friends, and their son’s teachers at Knockea National School, Castletroy College secondary school, and at Limerick Senior College where Luke was about to start a business course.
Mr Buckley also thanked gardaí for their professionalism at the scene of the fatal collision last weekend.
“But the biggest thank you goes to the woman standing beside me, no son could have had a better mum,” said Mr Buckley.
Glancing from the altar down at his son’s coffin, which was draped in the green and gold colours of the famous South Liberties club, Mr Buckley poignantly offered: “Luke, I love you, I’ll chat to you everyday for the rest of my life, you’ll always be with me.”
Fr Tom Mangan, parish priest Donoughmore/Knockea, said the local community would wrap its arms around the Buckley family to try to help them through “this tragedy”.
Fr Mangan told Mr Buckley’s friends: “You have lost a beautiful friend, stay together, talk together, cry together, help each other, and go out and live your lives as Luke would want you to live, and take care and be careful.”
Members of South Liberties GAA Club performed a guard of honour as the coffin carrying their “fearless” former shot-stopper was shouldered out of the church on his final journey.
Luke Buckley is survived by his parents Julie, Michael, sister Katie and brother Finn.