Wednesday 21 August 2019

'A considerate father and a no-nonsense journalist' - Tributes paid to Eugene McGee at funeral mass

Eugene McGee pictured in 2015. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Eugene McGee pictured in 2015. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Liam Collins

Liam Collins

The ball from the historic 1982 All-Ireland final was presented a symbol of the life of Eugene McGee at his funeral mass in St Mel's Cathedral, Longford today.

The GAA enthusiast and long time Irish Independent columnist was a "considerate" father and "no-nonsense journalist" beneath his gruff exterior, mourners were told.

Mr McGee, who died on May 5th at the age of 77, spent the last day of his life at his son Conor's wedding, welcoming the new bride Saoirse into the McGee family.

Members of the 1982 Offaly team, which he trained, formed a guard of honour as his coffin was carried from the Cathedral for burial in Columcille near the village of Aughnacliffe, Co. Longford where he was born.

"Old men and woman on the highways and byways of Offaly are in mourning today for Eugene McGee, even though many of them never met him" said the celebrant Fr. Michael McGrath.

In his eulogy friend and colleague P.J. Cunningham said that Eugene McGee hated "pomp and bombast" but he knew "how to find talent, harness talent."

The former Taoiseach, Mr Brian Cowen, was among the large attendance of sportsmen, journalists, family and friends.

Mr McGee's daughter, Linda proceeded the funeral on a motorbike with members of the Freewhellers Motor Cycle Club.

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The chief mourner was Mr McGee's wife Marian and the funeral Mass finished with a rendition of The Offaly Rover.

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