Sunday 8 December 2019

Jason was a victim of 'downright evil', mourners told

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

JASON McGovern was the victim of "downright evil", mourners at his funeral Mass were told.

The church was overflowing with mourners as hundreds gathered to remember the 19-year-old student and to support his family as they bade a final farewell to a beloved son and brother.

It was exactly noon as the bell echoed from the centuries-old St Patrick's Church in Corracrin, Co Monaghan, and the coffin holding his remains was carried in. Sobbing filled the air.

The teenager's lifeless body was discovered in bed in a friend's house on New Year's Eve and his rural community of Tydavnet was plunged into grief.

Jason, a performing arts student at Sligo IT, had been on a night out with a group of friends in Omagh, Co Tyrone, when he was assaulted twice. Four men and a 17-year-old youth have since appeared in court in the North charged in connection with his death.

A a 23-year-old man was also arrested in Omagh yesterday in connection with the investigation.

Parish priest Fr Hubert Martin told the congregation yesterday that the teenager was on what should have been a relaxing and enjoyable outing.

He then referred to the "downright evil'' into which Jason's last night out was plunged.

It was not a new thing that no parent could sleep when their child was out at night, he said. "Every mother knows what it is for a child to go out and wait to hear the click of the key in the door. It was never any different," Fr Martin added.

He pointed out that Jason's death had forced people to ask questions about the culture of today and how it was that fear for one's safety stalked the streets of our towns.

"The youth culture of today . . . it would surely have frightened and startled (Jason's) gentle spirit."

Several items were brought to the altar symbolising his life, including a family photo, a Gaisce award he had received, as well as headphones and a tablet computer.

Fr Martin acknowledged the solidarity shown by friends and peer groups to the family, saying: "You have known Jason's smiling face and pleasant personality.

''We don't know where his Performing Arts studies in IT Sligo might have brought him. All we know is that his death has made national headlines," he added.

Irish Independent

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