independent

Tuesday 16 September 2014

'Air of unreality' as assault victim Michael laid to rest

Margaret Roddy

Published 12/03/2014 | 05:20

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The funeral of Laurence ‘Michael’ McGeown, who died following an assault in Fagan’s Pub, taking place in Ravensdale on Monday morning.

The family of Michael McGeown, the 63-year-old grandfather who died following an assault in Dundalk, can 'scarcely believe or fully comprehend what has happened,' Parish Priest Fr Padraig Murphy told mourners who attended the funeral in Ravensdale on Monday morning.

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The family of Michael McGeown, the 63-year-old grandfather who died following an assault in Dundalk, can 'scarcely believe or fully comprehend what has happened,' Parish Priest Fr Padraig Murphy told mourners who attended the funeral in Ravensdale on Monday morning.

As his heart-broken family, friends and neighbours gathered in St Mary's Church, Fr. Murphy, remembered the popular barman as 'a very private and unassuming man, who didn't want very much and lived an ordinary life.'

Welcoming mourners to the funeral Mass, Fr. Murphy asked them to 'pray for those who mourne his passing which came so tragically.'

As they gathered to pay their respects and pray, he said they stood 'in the darkness of death which is all the more oppressive because of the tragic circumstance leading to Michael's death'.

Whenever people hear of something like this happening somewhere else, they don't really imagine in their own consciousness that it could happen on our own door. There was, he said, 'an air of unreality' about what had happened and Michael's family 'can scarcely believe or fully comprehend what had happened.'

Fr. Murphy recalled how they had, for a few days sat at Michael's hospital bed, knowing that with his injuries, there was no hope for him. Michael's 'tragic and untimely death has left us staring at a gulf'.

'We cannot find words to express our heartfelt sympathy,' he continued. 'At times like this words are inadequate but we express our sympathy by being here today.'

He told the congregation that Michael had attended Dulargy National School and had been confirmed in St Mary's Church by Cardinal William Conway on May 24 1961. The funerals of his parents Owen and Mary had also taken place in the church as did that of his brother Dennis, which Fr. Murphy remembered, was the first one he had conducted in the parish.

After receiving his post-primary education in Dundalk Technical School, Michael embarked on his long working career in the forestry service and could recall pulling timber with horses before the use of tractors or other more modern equipment.

For the past twelve years he had resided in Toberona and worked as a barman in Bridge Street.

'He was a very private and unassuming man who didn't want very much and lived an ordinary life. He liked going for a pint, playing darts and watching football.'

He extended his sympathy to Michael's children Micheal, Lisa and Christopher, grandchildren Eammon, Christopher and Oliver, brother Paddy, sisters Sarah and Rena, aunt Ellen, brothers-in-law, sister-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.

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