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.