Thousands mourn young hurler

THE grief and shock was palpable at the Church of St Martin of Tours in Ballyhale yesterday as people came together to pay respects to talented hurler, Martin Duggan.

THE grief and shock was palpable at the Church of St Martin of Tours in Ballyhale yesterday as people came together to pay respects to talented hurler, Martin Duggan.

Half an hour before the midday funeral Mass the church was packed to capacity and mourners gathered in the grounds and adjoining graveyard.

Parish priest, Peter Kehoe told the congregation that it was the ‘biggest tragedy’ to happen in the parish. He spoke of the heartache and the loss and pain that people were experiencing. He also spoke in his eulogy about the asking of ‘why this had happened’ and the feeling of betrayal at the loss of someone who was ‘on the threshold’ of his life.

The local choir helped console the griefstricken with renditions of hymns “You Raise Us Up” and carols “Oh Holy Night” and “Silent Night” and two family friends sang a beautiful rendition of “Thank You For The Days” at the graveside.

Fr Kehoe also remembered Sean Malone who was killed in the same car accident that claimed the life of Martin and spoke of their strong friendship and their great love of tractors.

At the end of the Mass Martin’s friend Vicky recited a poem:

Farewell my friend you’re leaving

It’s time for you to go

Your friendship was a blessing

And I will miss you so

We shared so many secrets

You brightened up my days

You brought me so much happiness

With your kind and loving ways

You lifted up my spirits

When I was feeling blue

No matter what was happening

You knew just what to do

We ran between the raindrops

We walked beneath the sun

Ran barefoot in the summertime

And oh, we had such fun

Through all the ups and downs of life

The good times and the sad

From primary school to later years

You’re were the best friend I ever had

I sit around and wonder

And watch the days go by

I look at all the pictures

And ask why did you have to die

You’ve always been there for me

Because you were my best friend

And I was always there for you until the very end

But now it’s time to let you go

Your spirit now is free

But even though you wont really be gone because you live inside of me

And even when we have to leave you at your resting place

I will always remember your beautiful, smiling face

This is hardly a goodbye

And I won’t weep anymore

Because now you’re in a better place than you ever were before

And even though I will miss you and think about you every day

You’ll always be my best friend and that is all I have to say.