Eamonn Magee's family and friends in farewell to 'blue-eyed boy'
Murdered boxer Eamonn Magee Jr was his father's "blue-eyed boy" and "right-hand man", mourners at his funeral yesterday heard.
Eamonn Jr was stabbed in the Summerhill Park area of Twinbrook, on the outskirts of west Belfast, around 2.30am last Saturday.
The 22-year-old - son of former WBU welterweight world champion Eamonn Magee - was rushed to hospital after the knife attack but died of his injuries.
Renowned local boxing trainers John Breen and Bernardo Checa were among those who attended Requiem Mass at St Joseph's Church, Hannahstown, yesterday morning.
Parish Priest Fr McGuckien paid tribute to Eamonn, whom he described as "a confident young man" who was "ever-loving, caring and supportive". "Today we thank God for Eamonn's life - a life that has touched the lives of so many in such a positive way," he said.
"Of course, it was a life that we would have wanted to continue for many more years - for Eamonn had so much more to achieve and to give from that deep reservoir of talent and goodness that he constantly tapped into during his 22 years."
Addressing his parents, the priest said: "Eamon and Mary, you have spoken of your son in such affectionate terms: your blue-eyed boy; your right-hand man; your ever protective and loving son."
And the congregation also listened intently as he recounted Eamonn's journey to adulthood and professional boxing.
"He steadily grew in confidence and matured into an extremely pleasant and likeable young man and into someone who was well-respected," Fr McGuckien said.
"This maturing and growing in confidence was also to be found in his sporting endeavours.
"Following in the footsteps of his father, he became a boxer and contributed so much to Irish boxing; he won many County, Ulster and All Ireland titles.
"Tomorrow would have marked the first anniversary of Eamonn becoming a professional boxer - indeed he had a very promising professional career ahead of him."
The priest told family and friends at the service that Eamonn was a committed and focused athlete who sought to help others reach their full potential, whether in his role as a boxing coach or as a personal trainer.
"He always encouraged others to use their God-given gifts and talents to fulfil their own potential. Eamonn's dedication and discipline inspired many people and by his fundraising for charity, he certainly was a good role model."