Jack, who had cancer for over a year, was remembered as a “true Blue” by his uncle William, who paid tribute to Ballybrack native Jack in front of a GAA jersey-wearing mourning party.
With the Sam Maguire trophy sitting next to Jack’s coffin – which was draped in a Dublin flag – William spoke of Jack’s adoration of and dedication to Dublin GAA.
William said many of the Dublin football squad texted his nephew throughout his journey through illness and thanked them for their support towards Jack, who met his illness “head on and with no fear”.
“He was a true Blue. On match day he had to get into Dublin early and ‘get the feel of the place’,” William told mourners.
“He just loved it, and you can see it in all of the posts in tributes that have come out – he was a true Blue.”
Jack was a keen supporter of Manchester United and mourners also wore their jerseys in memory of the teenager – who played as a goalkeeper for his local side, St Joseph’s, Sallynoggin, and previously for Cabinteely FC. Goalkeeper gloves were offered as a gift in his memory.
Jack’s love of food was fondly recounted by his uncle, saying Jack may have been the only child in the country that looked forward to brussels sprouts on Christmas Day and joking that his adoring parents Nigel and Geraldine were on “first name terms with the Just Eat driver, he was there so often”.
Jack had a fond love of gaming, with his bedroom resembling the “cockpit of the Starship Enterprise” it had so many monitors, many of which were provided by the Make-A-Wish foundation.
“We appreciate in his time of need what was done for and given to Jack. The time, the energy that was given to him,” William said.
“Jack loved the messages he received throughout his illness, particularly from the Dublin team. It was unbelievable how Dessie [Farrell] and the lads got behind him and supported him, and all the Dublin community. Those messages were great for him and his family, he loved them.
“It wasn’t just the Dublin lads, it was international footballers, all walks of life – even Gerry Adams sent him a message. If you reach out to Gerry Adams, then you’re in control.”
Jack had a “heart of gold” and donated his birthday money to the homeless in Dublin, William said, adding: “That’s the measure of the man we’re dealing with.”
William told mourners that Jack had no fear when it came to cancer, adding that he never wore a hat to hide his hair loss when going through chemotherapy.
“What you saw was what you got. That’s a credit to him”, William said, paying tribute to his “amazing parents” Geraldine and Nigel, who were “his rock” through his illness.
Jack was laid to rest at Shanganagh Cemetery, Shankill.