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McBurney/Declan Bogue

Pictured Declan Bogue

Date: Thursday 12th April 2012

Location: BT Offices

Credit: Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

Copyright: Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

Liam McBurney - RAZORPIX


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Tragic Brendan Og Duffy was a natural leader who had so much ahead of him

Declan Bogue


Brendan Óg Duffy

Brendan Óg Duffy

Brendan Óg Duffy

Today is the funeral of Brendan Óg Duffy, the Monaghan Under-20 captain who tragically died in a car crash last Friday night after leading his county to a stunning comeback to beat Donegal in the Ulster final.

Like any young person, he had a lot to look forward to, but it also stands to reason that he may have had more than most to look forward to.

His father is credited as having built the Gaelscoil that Brendan Óg attended, from almost scratch. The family are contributors to society and in losing their son are left with a void that simply can’t be filled. In time, they will learn to cope a little better each day with it but there is no timeframe on grief.

Captain of the Under-20s, there was no doubt in many people’s minds that he could have been on the county senior team already at this stage. That he was not was down to the foresight of senior manager Seamus McEnaney, who made a decision to benefit the player and his physical development.

If there were doubts expressed in late 2019 as to whether McEnaney was the man to succeed Malachy O’Rourke as the county manager, they have been put to bed. McEnaney’s ability to get his team to produce a stunning win over Armagh last Saturday in the face of such tragedy, along with his ability to articulate what people in Monaghan were all feeling, was pitch perfect. Not a word out of place.

“My feeling is devastation for Ogie Duffy’s family. For me personally, it was very difficult because I managed this young fella. He was my captain in the minor team,” he said. It bears repeating because of the power of the words.

“Only those that have been in a manager’s position with a captain understand. The trust that’s there, the loyalty that’s there, the love that’s there… it was very difficult.

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“It’s devastating news for Monaghan football. This man had a huge future in Monaghan football. He was a brilliant leader. I let the players pick the captain of my minor team in 2018. There was a 30-man panel, 24 players voted for Ogie Duffy to be their captain. That’s the type of fella he was.”

For now, the Ulster final has been postponed for six days, until Friday evening, July 30.

There will be means in which the occasion can mark the life of Monaghan’s captain and his contribution to the world. What a pity, though, that it has to be marked at all.

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