DUBLIN, January 14, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The grisly murder of a pro-life campaigner in Dublin has left police traumatized and shocked the pro-life community across Ireland. Police have arrested 34 year-old Saverio Bellante, an Italian national in relation to the killing of Tom O’Gorman, allegedly after a fight over a game of chess.
Police have said that the killer removed and ate one of his victim’s lungs and intended to eat his heart. O’Gorman’s body was found in his home in north Dublin on Sunday having suffered “dozens” of stab wounds, according to the coroner’s initial report.
Bellante, from Palermo, is reported to have confessed to the crime after calling police himself. He appeared in court on Monday and is pleading guilty, having refused offers of state-funded legal aid.
The scene was so gruesome that media is reporting the responding officers were badly traumatized. The case is thought to be the first instance of cannibalistic murder in Ireland’s history.
David Quinn, a friend and close colleague of O’Gorman, spoke with LifeSiteNews.com this evening, saying that the entire pro-life community is in shock. “On the face of it, it’s one of the worst crimes we’ve ever seen. There’s obviously been murders, but this is another dimension again, judging from what the police have said.”
Quinn told LSN that O’Gorman had met Bellante through contacts with the Focolare movement with which they were both involved. Mr. O’Gorman lived alone in the family home after the death of his mother and had taken Bellante in as a lodger to help make ends meet.
Niamh Uí Bhriain, the head of the Life Institute, told LSN, “The entire nation has been deeply shocked by the brutal nature of what happened to Tom O'Gorman. This is a terrible tragedy and almost beyond comprehension.
“The pro-life community is especially saddened to have lost such an articulate advocate for life.” In Irish, she added the prayer, “I gcomhluadar na nAingeal bo mbeidh sé.” (Translation: That he may be in the company of Angels.)
Quinn said that Mr. O’Gorman had been involved in pro-life activities for at least 20 years, since his student days. “His first and most important cause was the pro-life cause. It was the one he felt most strongly about,” he said. In addition O’Gorman was a devout Catholic, and was involved in his parish as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.
O’Gorman had worked for the Iona Institute, a conservative Catholic think tank for seven years. Quinn, the organization’s founder, said he was “a behind the scenes kind of guy, not going into the media, which was my job. He was one of the stalwarts,” he said. “My number two man” who focused entirely on research and had “no kind of public role at all.”
Pro Life Campaign, a leading Irish pro-life group O’Gorman had worked with, held a memorial prayer vigil for Tom O’Gorman in Dublin at St Teresa’s Church on Clarendon St. “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,” the group said in a statement to press.