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Ireland star Shane Duffy's dad a 'true family man', funeral hears

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Republic of Ireland footballer Shane Duffy places his hand on his dad Brian’s coffin while his mum Siobhan (front right) leads mourners from the church in Galliagh

Republic of Ireland footballer Shane Duffy places his hand on his dad Brian’s coffin while his mum Siobhan (front right) leads mourners from the church in Galliagh

Mourners at the funeral of Republic of Ireland and Premier League footballer Shane Duffy's father Brian heard him described as a "true family man" who was "loved and respected"

Mourners at the funeral of Republic of Ireland and Premier League footballer Shane Duffy's father Brian heard him described as a "true family man" who was "loved and respected"

The funeral of Brian Duffy

The funeral of Brian Duffy

Republic of Ireland footballer Shane Duffy places his hand on his dad Brian’s coffin while his mum Siobhan (front right) leads mourners from the church in Galliagh

Mourners at the funeral of Republic of Ireland and Premier League footballer Shane Duffy's father Brian heard him described as a "true family man" who was "loved and respected".

Mr Duffy, a native of Letterkenny who made Londonderry his home, passed away suddenly at the weekend at the age of 53.

A guard of honour by members of the Derry branch of the Republic of Ireland Supporters' Club formed outside St Joseph's Church in Galliagh as Mr Duffy's remains were carried inside for requiem mass.

Abiding by current coronavirus control restrictions, Brighton footballer Shane Duffy was one of only 10 mourners inside the church but parish priest Michael McCaughey welcomed hundreds from Derry, Donegal and further afield who attended via the church's webcam.

In his homily, Fr McCaughey said: "Brian's sudden passing creates a great sense of shock and indeed it adds to the great pain of today - hearts are broken for the second time in 10 weeks when Brian's family lost his mother.

"Through the years this church has seen many sad funerals, some of them more tragic than others, but I always believe there is great pain in the death of someone like Brian who was in the prime of life.

"There is little any of us can say or think or do that can measure to the sense of loss in the lives of those people who know, love and respect Brian Duffy.

"He valued the gift of life and looked forward no doubt to many years ahead, his influence strong in the lives of many people."

Fr McCaughey told Mr Duffy's family it was natural for them to question why he had been taken but asked them to focus on the love he had shown them.

He added: "At a time like this, grief touches young and adult and heightens that sense of loss that we ask 'why?'".

"As Jesus walked with his disciples, Brian walked with his family, his many friends in his love of sport and in his handiwork he was a true family man.

"Brian was loved and respected by his many friends and in sporting circles both here and in Letterkenny. He took a great interest in football and of course his interest brought him great joy - he was so proud of Shane and his football achievements.

"It is lovely to hear it said that he was a great husband, father and grandfather, brother and a great son to his late parents.

"Brian, I am told spoiled many people and I loved the phrase Siobhan told me he had for her - she who must be obeyed - that is how he lived his life obeying his wife and honouring his family.

"A man who appreciated life and love - a man who loved others and today in the midst of our grief and sadness we thank God for the gift of his life and his influence and we pray that Brian is at peace."

Fr McCaughey reminded the congregation that although Mr Duffy did not live until an old age, he accomplished so much.

The priest continued: "So often measure life by its number of years and its duration but we think not about what Brian could have done but of what he has achieved - the life and the love he has left behind in family and in friendships, in the world of sport, in his little phrases all creating good memories."

Mr Duffy was laid to rest in Derry City Cemetery following Requiem Mass.

Belfast Telegraph