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Man killed in Cobh attack remembered as ‘lovable rogue’

Ian Baitson was fondly remembered at his requiem mass in Cobh, Co Cork today as being a “magnet” for people arising out of his warm nature and good sense of humour.

Mr Baitson was baptised during the Easter Vigil at St Colman’s Cathedral 33 years ago this week. Poignantly, his life was book ended by Holy Week with his funeral taking place in the same church today.

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

His brother, Richard, told a large gathering of mourners at the funeral mass that Ian had left an indelible mark on all those who had known him.

He said: “We have all have many fantastic memories and stories of him. He was a lovable rogue.”

Richard said that they would forever be in the debt of all those who had rallied to help them since tragedy struck their family.

“The support the community has shown us has been truly touching. Words can’t express how wonderful people can be. Continue to support and look out for each because life is short.”

He said: “My Mam and I just wanted to take this opportunity to express our undying gratitude to everyone who has helped with us navigating through this devastating situation.

“From the people who exhausted themselves to save the life of Ian, to the police and paramedics, the staff at the Emergency Department (at CUH), all the teams of surgeons who were working on Ian and the amazing people in the ICU at Cork University Hospital.”

Richard added: “You all did absolutely everything you could and you allowed Ian’s friends and family to spend four days with him by his bedside to talk to him, to support each other and to say our goodbyes. You gave us the gift of time. Thank you.”

He also thanked all those who had visited the family and brought them “tea bags and cards” over recent days.

Richard Baitson ended his moving tribute by asking all those who had gathered to say farewell to Ian to watch out for each other.

He said: “The support the community has shown us has been truly touching. Words can’t express how wonderful people can be. Continue to support and look out for each because life is short. Always show each other the compassion and love you have shown us.”

Offertory gifts included a photo album containing pictures of Ian with his son Myles whilst his young daughter Zoe, who also read a reflection, brought a sloth teddy to the altar. Other gifts included Ian’s chef’s hat, a recipe book and a running bib. Ian was due to complete a marathon this year.

Meanwhile, Fr Tom McDermott said that there was “hope and love” in Cobh this week even amidst grief and pain.

He noted that Holy Week “stands like a book end at either end of the life of Ian Baitson.”

Fr McDermott said: “His story marked by Holy Week. His story you know well. You have been sharing it these last few days. Son of Helen and the late Paul, brother to Richard, loving dad to Zoe and Myles. Friend to so many.”

He added: “How many of you have spoken about that smile. That heart of gold. That magnet he was for people. A chat for everyone he met. The smiles and the laughter and that great humour he had. Every party a better one because he was there.”

Fr McDermott said that Ian was the “happiest” he had ever been in the period before he died having participated in a charity run. He had also been preparing for a marathon.

He said that Ian was very well thought of by all who knew him.

“The lads say that when they were kids he was the one the Mammy’s all asked about,” said Fr McDermott.

He added: “They admired how he took to being a dad at a young age. They are not so sure about his taste in music as he was a great fan of ‘Tiesto’ which was described by one of his friends as ‘not real music.’ He got a tattoo of Tiesto marking him for life as having no taste in music!

“Helen, you remember well that Saturday night 33 years ago this weekend that he (Ian) was marked here with the sign of the Holy Cross. Brought to the Easter vigil to be baptised,” he continued.

He said: “The best way to celebrate and to remember Ian is to choose to bring light in to the darkness of the world. To be a community of love and faith and hope.”

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 in Cobh has been charged with the murder of Mr Baitson at Newton Road in the town.

He was charged before a special sitting of Midleton District Court. He also appeared before Mallow District Court yesterday where he was further remanded in custody until 23 April for instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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