Tragic half-marathon runner who ‘lived life to the full’ laid to rest

John's remains are carried from the church yesterday
John's remains are carried from the church yesterday

John McHugh, the young runner who passed away during a half-marathon last Saturday, was laid to rest yesterday – and was remembered as a “man who ran into the arms of God” while living his life to the full.

The runner and ex-Belevedere College pupil suffered a cardiac event close to the finish line in the Phoenix Park on Saturday morning – a day before he was due to celebrate his 24th birthday.

The service took place at Our Lady Mother of the Church in Castleknock in front of a packed congregation of mourners

His girlfriend Elaine read from his personal journal, giving an insight into a man who was desperate to live his life to the fullest and not waste a single day.

And his brother Conor also spoke about his beloved sibling’s many talents, saying he was: "Our musician, creative thinker, leader, philanthropist, ideator, pun wizard, our artist, worker, explorer, our supporter, believer, inspirer. Our little buddy John Oliver McHugh. If not now - when, if not me - who?" he said.

Strains of Bob Dylan’s Forever Young sounded as his remains were carried from the church before being brought to Mount Venus Cemetery.

Belvedere College Union paid tribute to the 23-year-old, describing John as "someone that was taken from all of us too quick but those of us lucky enough to know him can consider ourselves truly privileged”.

John McHugh RIP