Responding to the news of the tragic death of Tom O’Gorman, Pro Life Campaign Deputy Chairperson, Cora Sherlock said:
“The tragic death of our dear friend Tom O’Gorman over the weekend has come as a huge shock and a painful loss to everyone in the pro-life movement. Tom was a truly loyal supporter of the Pro Life Campaign, always ready to put his very considerable talents in research, analysis and writing at the service of the pro-life cause. His reliable, meticulous work, humbly done behind-the-scenes, helped so many good things happen.
“Everyone who met him came away with an enhanced sense of their own worth born from the experience of his interest in them as a human being.
“In this, Tom was something of a phenomenon. He was a ‘people person’ par excellence and a kind man who loved meeting people and getting to know them and share their lives. As the news of his death has spread on TV and social media, the outpourings of sadness and memories of his goodness are reflections of the huge circle of people he knew whose lives he touched.”
Commenting on what Tom’s untimely death will mean to the pro-life community, PLC chairperson, Dr Joe McCarroll said:
“When a good friend dies it is as if an Atlantis sinks beneath the waves, that part of us which this friend, as distinct from any other person in the universe, brought into existence and embellished every time we met, through the world of common meanings and values we conjured up and explored together.
“In Tom’s case that includes the too-many-to-recall gatherings with other friends as well where we talked inspired nonsense and laughed our heads off, with Tom at the heart of it talking in diamonds. But we all remember only too well how invaluable he was as a partner in discussion on human rights questions, a challenging sounding board that answered back, always vigorously and thoughtfully pinpointing practical realities that may not have been taken into account – God’s contrarian, I always think of him.
“How are you?” Tom would start as soon as you met him. He was so interested in everyone he met, and we picked that interest up. And there was a kindness, a thoughtfulness that seemed to come from a vulnerability and an innocence in Tom himself – he was no stranger to suffering so he knew how to respect it in those he met.
“Looking at Facebook today, you can see there are all over the place who are feeling the same sense of loss as the news of Tom’s death sinks in. It is hard to think of Tom as dead since he is in my memory as so alive, an Innocent Smith of a man, alive and kicking, or watching others kicking football, embodying Irenaeus’ luminous phrase – the glory of God is a man fully alive – that is Tom.
“I was pleased that RTÉ’s initial coverage captured the religious and spiritual dimension of Tom, which was the golden thread of his character and his life. Tom stood out as a good man, a considerate and gentle man, a holy man.
“His going Home leaves a great place in and among us now empty.”