Locals gather to pay tribute to 87-year-old busker stabbed to death on mobility scooter

A crowd of around 100 people gathered at the site where busker Thomas O’Halloran was stabbed to death on his mobility scooter to play Irish music and have a prayer.

Dozens of people, many wearing sports tops, gathered this morning at Cayton Road in Greenford, west London, to remember the 87-year-old Irishman.

Mr O’Halloran, originally from Ennistymon in Co Clare, was known to busk regularly by the train station in Greenford and tributes included songs he performed.

He played the accordion and had recently been busking to raise money for Ukraine, when he would have the country’s flag draped over the front of his scooter.

Before the ceremony, flowers, candles and a vial of holy water were laid at the site near where Mr O’Halloran was stabbed.

Ambrose Gordon, 61, said his friend would have “loved” the tribute.

He added: “He’d be there on his little trolley and he’d have been playing his tunes and things like that.

“I’m 60 years here and I have seen occasions, all kinds of occasions, and we are a very strong community, very, very strong.

“We came from every county today. We all wore our jerseys, so we’re very proud Irishmen, despite the fact we’re here 60 years.”

Gerry Hehir, 65, added Mr O’Halloran’s death “shocked” the community.

Mr Hehir, from nearby South Harrow, said: “I have lived here for 29 years. It’s a shock, the way it happened. I mean, there’s a lot of tragedies in London and in the wider place and all throughout the world, but it’s a very, very sad thing.”

He described Mr O’Halloran as “very quiet and professional”, adding he was “a very loving man and a very caring man, and he was “trying to collect for Ukraine, for the appalling disaster there”.

“He will be very well remembered for everything he’s done for the community.

“[It was] a sad occasion which turned into what I would call not joyful but the easing of people coming together.

“I think it meant a lot to the family and to all of us”.

During the event, local musicians played several songs, including Now I’m Easy by the Dubliners, as the community clapped and sang along.

Local parish priest Father Tom Daly led the community in prayer, saying: “We pray today for Tom, who died so violently.

“In the face of this kind of awful incident, we don’t know what to do and people feel completely helpless.

“This is one thing to do, is to gather in solidarity. Solidarity with the family, whom we pray for, Thomas, whom we pray for, and with one another in the community here gathered.”

Lee Byer, 44, will appear at the Old Bailey on Tuesday charged with Mr O’Halloran’s murder.