Cameron Reilly funeral: Priest asks those with information to come forward

‘I challenge our young people to examine the the direction in which their lives are going’

 

Mourners at the funeral of murdered teenager Cameron Reilly (18) were told death “seldom comes as shockingly, as cruelly or as poignantly as it has to Cameron.”

They also heard an appeal from the altar for people with information about what happened, to come forward.

Cameron’s body was found by a dog-walker a week ago morning in a field popular with young people meeting up and drinking in the Co Louth village.

The focus of the investigation is on the search for his iPhone, which gardaí believe could be key to finding out what happened.

The community of Dunleer has never had to deal with a tragedy like this before, “this is unprecedented,” Fr Michael Murtagh, parish priest, told the estimated one thousand mourners on Monday.

At the start of the service a statement from the teenager’s family was read out which said “today we are doing something we never thought we would have to do, say goodbye to Cameron.”

“We want to take this time to ask you all to remember Cameron for the vibrant generous and loving man that he was and not for the circumstances that bring us here today.”

Fr Murtagh, who concelebrated requiem Mass said: “This community of Dunleer and district is suffering with you. The whole parish community has been shocked, stunned and deeply saddened.”

Dismay

In his homily he said Cameron’s death had “left Dunleer in deep dismay. People were wondering out loud how he should have succumbed to such a cruel twist of fate.”

“The old, it is said, go to their death. Death comes to the young. It seldom comes as shockingly, as cruelly or as poignantly as it has to Cameron.”

He said, everyone who knew Cameron “knew he was a quiet young man with a real attachment to home and family and that made his death so strange and so unlikely.”

“He was helpful and courteous young man, well-reared and well-mannered. He had never been the cause of a moment’s trouble or even a moment’s concern to his family.”

“As far as we knew Cameron, was a well-balanced, good-living young man that any family could be proud of.

He said: “Cameron’s death raises some difficult questions and I do not want to avoid them today. I ask and appeal to our young people today to reflect thoughtfully on what has happened and to learn lessons from it.”

“I would ask and appeal to our young people particularly to reflect very thoughtfully on what has happened and to try and learn some lessons from it.”

He asked them to “examine the patterns of their lives and the direction in which their lives are going.”

“I would ask them to reflect on the kind of people they want to be, the kind of young people they are turning out to be.”

‘Life is precious’

“I would say to them that life is very precious and that parents, teachers and people generally are very supportive. Everybody wants the best for you. Don’t suppose that they do not understand. They do have your best interests at heart.”

He spoke to parents too, telling them to “please take your responsibilities as adults very seriously.”

After the homily Fr Murtagh returned to the issue of people with information on what happened.

He appealed again, saying: “Talk to each other and please if anything, even (if you have) the remotest piece of information that may help, I’d ask you please to come forward.”

The symbols brought up to the altar to represent the young man were a Nike trainers box, a container from his favourite Chinese take-away, a hairdryer to represent his sense of style, aftershave because he always had to smell well, concert tickets to represent his love of concerts and an apron to represent his studies in business and hospitality at Dundalk Institute of Technology.

As Cameron’s coffin left the funeral home for the short journey to St Brigid’s Church, guards of honour were formed by local sporting clubs including St Kevin’s GAA club, Lann Léire GAA club.

Students from Scoil Ui Mhuiri, where he did his Leaving Cert last year, stood silently as his coffin was brought into the church.

His lecturers and fellow students from Dundalk Institute of Technology were also among the many mourners. He was buried in Mullary cemetery following the Mass.

* Anyone with information in relation to the death of Cameron Reilly is asked to contact Drogheda Garda station on 041-9874200, the Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.