Monaghan GAA star ‘brought happiness to all who knew him’, funeral hears

Brendan Og Duffy (19), captain of county’s U20 side, died in car crash after last match

Mourners attend the funeral for Monaghan GAA U20 star Brendan Og Duffy at St McCartan’s Cathedral in Monaghan. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Mourners attend the funeral for Monaghan GAA U20 star Brendan Og Duffy at St McCartan’s Cathedral in Monaghan. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

A rising GAA star who was killed in car crash hours after leading his county team to victory brought love, kindness and happiness to all who knew him, his funeral has heard.

Brendan Og Duffy, the captain of Monaghan’s U20s side, died late on Friday night after the car he was driving was involved in a collision near Clontibret in his home county.

The 19-year-old affectionately known as Ogie, who was tipped for a glittering senior county career, was returning home having helped his team beat Donegal in an Ulster championship semi-final in Enniskillen earlier that evening.

The Order of Service as mourners attend the funeral for Monaghan GAA U20 star Brendan Og Duffy. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Order of Service as mourners attend the funeral for Monaghan GAA U20 star Brendan Og Duffy. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

His father Brendan, mother Esther and sisters Aine and Claire were among mourners at Wednesday’s funeral mass at St McCartan’s Cathedral in Monaghan town.

Ahead of the service, teammates formed a guard of honour as the young footballer’s coffin, draped in a Monaghan flag, was carried into the church.

Amid the crowds of mourners gathered outside, many wore Monaghan jerseys and also jerseys of Mr Duffy’s home club Monaghan Harps. A number had “Ogie” printed on the back.

During the service, Canon Paddy McGinn paid a warm tribute to the teenager.

“We thank God for Ogie’s short life, for the love, kindness, and happiness he gave to his family and to all who knew him,” he said.

Mourners wearing Monaghan GAA jerseys with Ógie written on back at funeral. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Mourners wearing Monaghan GAA jerseys with Ógie written on back at funeral. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

GAA president Larry McCarthy attended the mass while Taoiseach Micheál Martin was represented by Defence Forces Commandant Caroline Burke.

In his homily, Canon McGinn said the Duffy family had been left “devastated and heartbroken”.

“Our community too is numb with grief,” he said.

The cleric said the talented footballer, who worked for Kingspan, had touched the hearts of many people both nationally and internationally.

He said his shining star had now faded behind the clouds.

The coffin of Monaghan GAA U20 star Brendan Og Duffy is taken into St McCartan’s Cathedral in Monaghan town, for his funeral. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The coffin of Monaghan GAA U20 star Brendan Og Duffy is taken into St McCartan’s Cathedral in Monaghan town, for his funeral. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

“It is not what we had hoped for — we hoped that Ogie’s star would have continued to shine on his family and on his loved ones and on the greatest GAA pitches and stages in Ireland. ”

He added: “All we can do is huddle in grief around the remains of shattered dreams and what might have been.”

Mr Duffy had previously captained Monaghan’s minor team to an Ulster championship in 2018, delivering his post-game victory speech in Irish.

Canon McGinn told mourners he had played every minute of every match in that season.

Concluding the homily, he said: “We believe that young glint in the eye of the shining star of Ogie O’Dufaigh is shining on all of us today.”

After the funeral mass, Mr Duffy was taken for burial at nearby St Joseph’s Old Cemetery. – PA