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Sword attack victim Ian Baitson was a “magnet” for people because of his warmth and good humor, the funeral was told

Ian Baitson was baptized during the Easter Vigil at St Colman’s Cathedral 33 years ago this week. Happily, his life ended during Holy Week as his funeral took place in the same church today.

Mr Baitson was attacked in a car park on Newtown Road in Cobh just before 9pm on March 15. He died in hospital four days later. A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of the late chef.

His brother Richard told a large memorial service at the funeral mass at 1pm that Ian left an indelible impression on everyone who knew him.

“We all have lots of fantastic memories and stories about him. He (Ian) was a lovable villain.”

Richard said they would forever be indebted to everyone who had come to their aid since their family’s tragedy.

“My mother and I wanted to take this opportunity to express our undying gratitude to everyone who helped us cope with this devastating situation.

“From the people who exhausted themselves to save Ian’s life, to the police and paramedics, the emergency department staff (at CUH), all the surgical teams who worked on Ian and the amazing people in the intensive care unit Cork University Hospital.

“You all did absolutely everything you could and you allowed Ian’s friends and family to spend four days with him at his bedside talking, supporting each other and saying goodbye. You gave us time. Thank you very much.”

He also thanked everyone who had visited the family in recent days and brought them “tea bags and cards.”

Today’s News in 90 Seconds – March 27th

Richard Baitson ended his moving tribute by urging everyone gathered to say goodbye to Ian to look after each other.

“The support the community has shown us has been truly touching. Words cannot express how wonderful people can be. Continue to support and take care of everyone because life is short. Always show each other the compassion and love that you have shown us.”

Offerings included a photo album with pictures of Ian and his son Myles, while his young daughter Zoe, who also read a reflection, brought a sloth teddy bear to the altar. Other gifts included Ian’s chef’s hat, a recipe book and a pair of running trousers. Ian was supposed to complete a marathon this year.

Meanwhile, Father Tom McDermott said there was “hope and love” in Cobh this week despite the sadness and pain.

He noted that Holy Week “stands like the end of a book at both ends of Ian Baitson’s life.”

“Its history is shaped by Holy Week. You know his story well. You’ve shared it in the last few days. Son of Helen and the late Paul, brother of Richard, loving father of Zoe and Myles. Friend to so many.

“How many of you have talked about that smile? This heart of gold. He was a magnet for people. A conversation for everyone he met. The smiles and the laughs and the great sense of humor he had. Every party was better because he was there.”

Father McDermott said that in the period before his death, taking part in a charity run made Ian the “happiest” he had ever been. He had also prepared for a marathon.

He said Ian was well-liked by everyone who knew him.

“The boys say when they were kids he was the one all the mommies asked about.

They admired how he handled becoming a father at a young age. They are not so sure about his taste in music as he is a big fan of Tiesto, which was described by one of his friends as “not real music”. He got a tattoo of Tiesto, which marked him as having “no taste in music” for the rest of his life.

“Helen, you remember well the Saturday evening 33 years ago, this weekend, when he (Ian) was marked here with the sign of the Holy Cross. Brought to baptism at Easter Vigil.

“The best way to celebrate and remember Ian is to bring light into the darkness of the world. To be a community of love, faith and hope,” said Father McDermott.

Mr. Baitson was predeceased by his father, Paul. Following the mass, a cremation took place at the Island Crematorium in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork.

Dylan Scannell, 30, of O’Rahilly Street, Cobh, has been charged with the murder of Mr Baitson on Newton Road in the city.

He was arraigned Monday in a special session of Midleton District Court. He appeared in Mallow District Court yesterday where he was remanded in custody until April 23 on orders from the DPP.

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