Fionntan McGarvey funeral: Murder victim was able to achieve wish of life-saving organ donation

Mourners attending the funeral of Fionntan McGarvey today learned that the teenager’s organs were able to be donated so others might live.

By Graeme Cousins
Monday, 24th January 2022, 5:47 pm
Funeral of Fionntan McGarvey at St Brigid's Church, Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Funeral of Fionntan McGarvey at St Brigid's Church, Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

The 18-year-old died last week following injuries sustained in an incident outside a bar on December 27, prompting police to launch a murder inquiry.

Queen’s student Fionntan, a talented GAA player and footballer, was laid to rest following a funeral mass in St Brigid’s Church, Belfast today.

A message was read out on behalf of his father and mother Lorcan and Aveen, brothers Caolin and Daire, and sister Sorcha, thanking everyone for coming to celebrate Fionntan’s life.

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Fionntan McGarvey was a talented sportsman

They said: “He was a precious child, a beautiful boy who became a remarkable young man. Our hearts are just broken.

“We are so grateful for your messages of love and support. Fionntan’s funeral mass has given us such comfort and will give us the strength we need to move forward.”

The family said they would be “forever grateful to the Northern Ireland Organ Donation Service’s team and everyone who helped to realise Fionntan’s wishes to be an organ donor”.

They added: “We say to parents, teachers and coaches everywhere, keep your children and young people close to you, but at the same time give them the space to flourish.

The funeral of Fionntan McGarvey at St Brigid's Church, Belfast. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

“Continue to teach and educate them but also listen to them and learn from them, most of all encourage them at every opportunity because they have so much to give to the world. Fionntan gave so much to the world.

“To Fionntan’s many friends we say do not despair and do not give up. We know that he touched your lives and we know that he loved you all.

“Fiontann will always be with us in our hearts and in our minds. He will be forever young.”

Father Eddie O’Donnell told mourners: “There are those who say that when a person dies a star falls from the sky.

Fionntan McGarvey passed away in hospital following injuries he sustained during an incident outside licensed premises in the Finaghy Road North area of Belfast in the early hours of Monday, December 27

“A falling star is a wonderful sight. For a moment it holds our attention and then it is gone. Such was Fionntan. For too short a while he lit our sky with his big smile, his love and his friendship, with his talent and sportsmanship.

“Today, we feel bereft, now that the star has fallen, yet is it not true to say that we have been enriched by knowing him, as a son, as a brother, as a friend, as a teammate?

“To all our young people here I offer these few words – friendship is a wonderful facet of love. Fionntan was your friend. That friendship, in your youthful enthusiasm for life, you took for granted, and rightly so. But, as the poet once observed, ‘love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation’.

He added: “Even in the sadness of this day, if we find a renewed sense, that in the end, love and friendship are our most valued possessions, then Fionntan has left us an amazing gift. He blessed us with his friendship. With gratitude, we will forever hold his memory dear.”

Family and friends during the Funeral of Fionntan McGarvey. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

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