The niece of a pensioner stabbed to death while on his mobility scooter says learnt of the tragedy on the news.
Sharon Brennan, a relative of the 87-year-old busker, said she watched the shocking story unfold on TV before realising her own uncle was the victim.
Her 87-year-old uncle was born and bred in Ennistymon, Co Clare, before he started a new life in England in the 1960s.
Mrs Brennan told us his family in Ennistymon was devastated by the death of the much-loved musician.
She said: “My reaction is I was dumbfounded, disgusted. I was very upset, very angry.
“He didn’t deserve it. He was a sweetheart. He was an amazing man.
“He never harmed anybody in his life, he was a very good person in every way, shape and form.
“He worked all his life to care for what he had to take care of.
“He loved his music – absolutely loved it. It is heartbreaking.”
And Mrs Brennan – whose extended family has been beset with several tragedies in recent years including the death of her own 13-year-old son John in an accident on the family farm in Co Clare in April 2020 – told us that she watched the news of Thomas’s death on television, unaware the victim was her uncle.
She said the family was annoyed that family members in Ireland were not informed of his death until after details had been broadcast on the news.
She said: “Not for anyone in England to contact us and for us to see it on the news was just disgusting.
“We had already seen it on the news and then we got a phone call.
“We didn’t realise at the time – it didn’t give a name at the time.
“We were just saying God, that was awful and then we found out who it was.”
Another family member, who did not want to be named, told us that George O’Halloran was too upset to talk about the death of his brother, who was one of 16 children.
“He is very upset,” she said.
She revealed that Thomas left Ennistymon when he was a teenager, but would come back home from London every year with other brothers, who were also living in London.
She added: “He was very gentle man and loved the craic.
“He always had a smile. I never saw him without a smile on his face.”
She added: “We’re only getting snippets of the situation, you know, because we only found out yesterday afternoon.”