Belfast Telegraph

Gerard Quinn victim of evil act, priest tells mourners

By Nevin Farrell

A young sportsman murdered in Londonderry was the "victim of an evil, brutal, act", a priest told mourners at a Requiem Mass yesterday.

Fr Michael Canny was speaking at St Mary's Ardmore, where former team-mates of Gerard Quinn - who died last week after being stabbed - helped carry his coffin.

Players of St Mary's Ardmore GAA club and Nierin FC soccer club joined forces to give the 24-year-old, who had a two-year-old daughter, an emotional send-off.

Mr Quinn died at Altnagelvin Hospital after he was stabbed in the neck during an altercation outside a house after a party at Milldale Crescent in the Currynierin estate earlier this month.

He is survived by father Gerard, mother Rose and brothers Michael, Jonathan and Leonard. Michael is his twin, and was injured in the incident. He has since been released from hospital.

A 16-year-old boy has been remanded in custody charged with Mr Quinn's murder, as well as attempted grievous bodily harm with intent to his brother. Fr Canny told mourners: "We are gathered to say farewell because his life was cruelly cut short. That we are here in these circumstances is heart breaking and challenging.

"We gather frequently for Christian funerals and that's OK, because usually a person has lived a long and full life, but our gathering today is not OK.

"It's not okay because of the manner of Gerard's death. Gerard was murdered, the victim of an evil, brutal and commandment breaking act. An act that has caused parents to lose a son, three young men their brother and a two-year-old child her father."

Fr Canny told the Quinn family: "This last week has been very challenging. You have been devastated and numbed by the tragic death of a son and brother. Your lives have been changed and will never be the same again. For the remainder of your natural lives you will have to live with the reality of this life changing event. It will not be easy; indeed you will have many difficult days.

"To the wider community present today and especially to Gerard's close friends - this past week has also been very difficult. No doubt on many occasions you have been angry and may have had thoughts of revenge.

"Today, conscious that after an event like this our emotions can be unsettled, I say to you - enough people have suffered pain and loss. For Jesus and for you and me - who claim the name of Christian - the message is clear: there is no ambiguity or ambivalence. We must be prepared to forgive. This is not easy, but an eye for an eye mentality leaves everyone blind. Nobody wins - everyone is a loser."

Belfast Telegraph

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