Hundreds turn out for Electric Picnic fan’s funeral
Phil McConnell’s father describes son’s death as ‘every parent’s worst nightmare’
Phil McConnell (20), from Malahide, Co Dublin, died on Saturday morning in Portlaoise General Hospital after collapsing at the Electric Picnic festival
Hundreds of mourners turned out this morning for the funeral of Phil McConnell, the 20-year-old man who died after collapsing at the Electric Picnic last weekend.
The Sacred Heart Church in Seabury, Malahide, near his home was filled to overflowing for the funeral mass of Mr McConnell who died in Portlaoise General Hospital a short time after collapsing at the festival in the early hours of last Saturday morning. He had a pre-existing heart condition.
As a baby, Mr McConnell was Ireland’s youngest heart transplant recipient which he received in Great Ormond Street, London, in February 1994.
His father Stephen told his son’s death was “every parent’s worst nightmare” but he had lived through it before when he had been informed by the staff at Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin of his infant son’s condition.
It was then that the “journey of life” began for the McConnell family culminating in a “roller coaster” which led to him having a heart transplant.
“Phil was given a gift of life which he grabbed with both hands and it was a gift that he shared with everyone,” Stephen McConnell said.
He described his late son as a “loyal, kind and considerate friend” who had done his best to help his ticketless friends get to the Electric Picnic, and his friends were there when he collapsed.
Mr McConnell said he was holding on to his son’s trademark Trilby hat “until I get to the gates of heaven and I’ll return it in person. I won’t have to ask St Peter to presume you’re in. I’ll be able to hear the party music blaring. Phil you were a gentleman, a rogue, a chancer and a charmer all rolled into one.”
Phil McConnell is survived by his father, his mother Joyce and brother Barry. His older brother told the congregation that Phil was “your best friend and mine”.
“No word of mine can explain what a magnificent a person Phil was. He stood out from the crowd. Everywhere I went people asked me was I Phil McConnell’s brother. I’m proud to say I am Phil McConnell’s brother.”
The funeral featured music from U2, FatBoy Slim and Phil’s favourite song, Aslan’s Crazy World. Among the mourners were past and present students from Phil’s old school Belvedere College.