"We thank God for Ógie’s short life"

"We had hoped Ógie’s star would shine on his family and on the great GAA pitches and stages of Ireland," said the priest at this morning's funeral of the Monaghan U20s captain who lost his life in a tragic road accident last week.

Brendán Ógie O’Dufaigh's requiem Mass was held in Saint Macartan’s Cathedral, Monaghan this morning in the presence of his grieving father Brendán, mother Esther, and sisters Claire and Áine and wider family.

"We thank God for Ógie’s short life, for the love, kindness, and happiness he gave to family and to all who knew him," said celebrant Canon Paddy McGinn.

"I know you are devastated, heartbroken, and in bits today," he said to the O’Dufaigh family. "Our community too, is numb with grief. It’s so evident from flicking through the condolences on RIP.ie that Ógie’s death has touched the hearts of so many nationally and internationally.

"It’s not what we had hoped for, we hoped that Ógie’s star would have continued to shine on his family and loved ones and on the greatest GAA pitches and stages in Ireland."

The homily of Canon McGinn recalled his commendable work ethic, with Grove Turkeys and later Kingspan, his warm friendships and of course his porting prowess. Ógie played soccer originally and broadened his horizons to basketball, swimming, and hurling, but it was in Gaelic football that he excelled.

"Ógie was the proud Captain of the Monaghan minor team in 2018 which won the Ulster title in Armagh," said Canon McGinn. "He made his parents proud by delivering his victory speech entirely through Irish. He was selected as the captain by the players, in which 24 out of the 29-man squad voted for him. This was significant because a North Monaghan player got such massive support from the players of South Monaghan. He was as much at home in the company of the Magheracloone boys as he was with the Scotstown boys.

"He was invited to join the U20 panel, and this year was selected captain of the 2021 team. He didn’t announce this, indeed he hardly told his parents. Ógie was always very humble – he never played up his game. All he would ever say was ‘I had a good enough game’."

Canon McGinn spoke of he young man's "living faith".

"In pre-Covid times, he would go to morning Mass before a game," said the priest. "He had his rosary beads and cross in the side pocket of his kit bag last Friday night. He lit candles in Saint Joseph’s Church here in Monaghan town and served the 8:30 Mass along with his two siblings."

Also amongst the mourners were his many friends, fellow players in Monaghan Harps GFC and U20 county team and his work mates in Kingspan, along with Commandant, Caroline Burke, representing an Taoiseach and the president of the GAA Larry McCarthy.