Belfast Telegraph

Eamonn Magee Jr funeral: Emotional scenes as hundreds bid farewell to murdered Belfast boxer

By Claire Williamson

Hundreds have gathered to pay their respects at the funeral of a young boxer who was murdered in Belfast last weekend.

Eamonn Magee Jr (22) was stabbed in the Twinbrook area of West Belfast and died in hospital from his injuries.

His father is former WBU welterweight champion Eamonn Magee Sr.

There were emotional scenes as the funeral mass took place at St Joseph's Church, Hannahstown followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.

The funeral Mass heard that tomorrow (Saturday) would have marked the one year anniversary of the young man becoming a professional boxer.

Fr Kevin McGuckien paid tribute to the young man who "touched the lives of so many in a positive way" and who "achieved so much" in his short life.

Fr McGuckien said: "Eamon and Mary as parents you nurtured, supported and encouraged Eamon throughout his 22 years of life.  You watched your shy child grow into a confident young man who as you have testified was ever loving, caring and supportive. 

"Today we thank God for Eamon’s life – a life that has touched the lives of so many in such a positive way.  Of course, it was a life that we would have wanted to continue for many more years – for Eamon 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.  Eamon in his short life achieved so much. 

"The love, care and support that he gave to you his family is immeasurable. 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. Indeed, many in your family and in the community have spoken of Eamon in similar terms."

Fr McGuckien paid tribute to the sporting achievements of the young man which saw him follow in the footsteps of his father Eamonn Magee Snr to become a boxer.

He said: "Tomorrow would have marked the first anniversary of Eamon becoming a professional boxer – indeed he had a very promising professional career ahead of him.  Eamon as a committed and focused athlete sought to help others reach their full potential whether in his role as a boxing coach or as a Personal Trainer.

"Eamon always encouraged others to use their God–given gifts and talents to fulfil their own potential. Eamon’s dedication and discipline inspired many people and by his fundraising for charity, he certainly was a good role model.  During this month he had been planning to run a half marathon and raise funds for the charity, Tiny Life.

"Eamon was supporting the sterling work which Tiny Life provides for pre-mature babies who are clinging to life; this is why it is so unfair, so unjust that he should have been denied his inalienable right to life."

Fr McGuckien spoke of Eamonn's education where he was enrolled at the University of Ulster.

He said: "Last June Eamon began his professional career as a boxer and last September he also began third level education at the University of Ulster (Jordanstown) when he enrolled on the degree programme of Housing Management; all this reflects his aspiration to reach his full potential and take the necessary steps towards a brighter future.

"How ironic that in the darkness of the night that this young man with such a bright and promising future should be taken from us in such a cruel manner."

Fr McGuckien concluded: "On behalf of all here gathered we offer to Eamon’s mother and father, his sister Aine, brothers Francis and Ethan, nephew Cormac, grandmother Isobel, girlfriend Gemma and all his extended family and friends our heartfelt sympathy and we assure you of a special place in our prayers and thoughts in the difficult time ahead."

Further reading:

Eamonn Magee Jr: Community lights candles at vigil for murdered boxer

Turkish barman Orhan Koca remanded over boxer's death 

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