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Mourners hear hopes Brendan Óg Duffy 'star would shine on his family and on the great GAA pitches and stages of Ireland' cruelly taken away

Mourners attend the funeral of Monaghan U20 star Brendan Óg Duffy at St Macartan's Cathedral in Monaghan town. Picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire

MOURNERS at the funeral of Monaghan U-20 captain Brendan Óg Duffy heard yesterday that hopes his "star would shine" for his family and on the GAA pitch, had been cruelly taken away.

Canon Paddy McGinn said the death of the young sportsman, who was killed in a road traffic accident on Friday evening, had "touched the hearts of so many nationally and internationally."

Family and friends of the 19-year-old gathered at St Macartan's Cathedral in Monaghan town for Requiem Mass.

Affectionately known as 'Ogie', he captained Monaghan's U-20 footballers to a resounding 3-10 to 1-11 win over Donegal in the Ulster semi-final at Brewster Park in Enniskillen on Friday.

The Monaghan Harps player was driving home from after departing the team bus at Monaghan's GAA centre of excellence when the crash happened near Clontibret.

Yesterday his team-mates attended his funeral wearing GAA shirts with 'Ogie' and his playing number printed on the back.

His many coaches, from U-9 level when he began playing, were among the mourners as well as GAA president Larry McCarthy and Commandant, Caroline Burke, representing Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

Canon McGinn told the congregation of how the teenager's family were "devastated, heartbroken, and in bits today" and "our community too, is numb with grief".

A rising sports star, Canon McGinn said Duffy was destined to have shone further on the GAA pitch in the coming years.

"Ógie was the proud captain of the Monaghan minor team in 2018 which won the Ulster title in Armagh," he said.

"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 the only player that played every minute of every match, in the League and in the Championship that year.

"A substitute on the opposing county team was introduced in a League match to - let's say - limit or restrict Ógies influence on the game – in otherwards take him out.

"That substitute probably regretted his approach and came out second best of the altercation."

He added: "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'."

The priest said Mr Duffy's love of sport also saw him play soccer, basketball, swimming and hurling.

"He held his own on the Coláiste Oiriall basketball team and also on the juvenile Blackwater Steelers basketball team," he said.

"He is fondly remembered as a player, who through grit and sheer determination made life difficult for any opponent. He later committed himself to Gaelic Football."

Canon McGinn said the teenager also "loved his cars and had many car friends".

"He would wash and polish his car as if it was his baby," he added.

He also said they had "heard many stories over the last few days of the positive deeds and great favours he did for many of his friends".

But he said that last Friday night, they "witnessed the shining star of Ógie fade beyond the clouds, but only to brighten the room that is prepared for him in the Gospel today".

"We had hoped Ógie's star would shine on his family and on the great GAA pitches and stages of Ireland," he said.

"We believe that young glint in the eye of the shining star of Ógie Ó'Dufaigh is shining on all of us today".

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