Funeral of Longford man killed in New York hears of ‘unnecessary death’

Danny McGee died after suspected one-punch assault outside bar in Queens

Danny McGee: died last week in New York

Danny McGee: died last week in New York

 

Liam Cosgrove

The funeral of a Co Longford man killed in an alleged assault in New York has been told an increasing number of “tragic and unnecessary deaths” are being brought about in “a society where violence comes too easily.”

Fr Ber Hogan addressed a full to capacity St Mary’s Church in Drumlish on Thursday for the funeral of 21-year-old local man Danny McGee.

Mr McGee died after a suspected one-punch assault outside the Gaslight Bar in Queens during the early hours of last Thursday morning.

Fr Hogan said friends of the popular north Longford man were still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.

“In truth it doesn’t make sense, it shouldn’t make sense,” he said. “In a society where violence comes to easily we all need to stop and ask ourselves have we by our careless use of words, our outbursts of anger or indeed our uncritical attitude to violence contributed to such a society.

“Have we been hardened by society or has society hardened us?

“No day go by without hearing of some violent act, some tragic death, some family traumatised by a tragic and unnecessary death of a dear one. Have we become too desensitised by their frequency?”

Fr Hogan said despite the evident heartache which Mr McGee’s family and friends were shouldering, he noted how similar anguish was also being felt by close relations of the man charged with his assault.

“We are also conscious today that there is another family dealing with this tragedy and their pain is valid too. In a tragedy like this, there is pain and heartbreak for all concerned,” he said.

Steven O’Brien (25) of 42nd Street, Queens, was last week charged with assault.

Members from Mr McGee’s local GAA club Fr Manning Gaels escorted the funeral cortege into the church aided by guards of honour from his former soccer club, Gaels Utd and Moyne Community School.

His younger sister Eva fought back tears as she spoke of the close relationship the pair enjoyed growing up together.

“He was very protective of me and always looked out for me,” she said.

“Danny was funny, caring, loving and had a larger than life personality.

“Danny was always in great humour and wouldn’t have anyone with a frown on their face, he would always cheer them up.”

Following, funeral mass, burial took place in the nearby local cemetery.