“While life is tough we should never be drawn to violence”, Fr. Richard Gibbons, the sole celebrant of funeral Mass, said in a homily at the Church of St. John the Baptist (Apparition Chapel).
“Out understanding of life comes from Jesus, the son of God, and the fact that he wants us to live the fullest life that we can, joyfully, hopefully and not despairing.
“Sometimes life can get us down. It can send us on different paths and wrong paths but there’s always hope”.
The funeral Mass was attended by a small group of mourners, including the dead man’s foster parents, Winnie and Bernie, in keeping with Covid restrictions.
However, a significant group of mourners gathered outside the church and followed the hearse as its made its way – via Carrowmore Drive, Knock- to the local cemetery where the last prayers were recited by Fr. Gibbons.
The cortege, which numbered up to 200 people, was led by a lone piper, Sheila Duggan from Balla, Co. Mayo.
Gardai maintained a modest but discreet presence outside as the funeral Mass and subsequent funeral took place.
Michael McDonagh grew up in Knock and, in his childhood years, was an altar boy in Knock Parish.
The deceased was one of an extended family of fifteen, eleven girls and three boys.
Subsequent to Michael’s untimely death, a 31-year-old man has been arrested and charged with his murder.
The suspect is in Castlerea Prison having been remanded in custody.