Frank McCaffery: Funeral hears how teen had 'a young life full of promise, nipped in the bud'

Mourners at the funeral of Frank James McCaffery today heard that “Frank James was a fine young man, enthusiastic in his generosity”.
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During Requiem Mass, in Saint John the Baptist Church in Portadown, Father Clarke told a packed church – including many young men from sports clubs – that "he was also a sensitive soul, and perhaps too sensitive for his own good”.

"In his sensitivity he felt things deeply,” he added.

"The sensitivity gave him a thoughtfulness that caused him to feel the pain of life more than others might feel it. His sensitivity gave him an empathy for those around him,” he said

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Father Clarke in his sermon, said that drugs had ultimately led to "the tragedy of his death” and prayed that other young people could “turn their backs on the evil of substance abuse”.

A death notice in Funeral Times said the Portadown teenager died on December 17.

He was buried today (December 20) on his 19th birthday.

He is deeply mourned by his parents Jean and Francis and siblings Haley and Rosa.

Tributes have been paid to the teenager by friends online.

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A post on Tír na nÓg GAA club in Port adown said that ‘Frank was a member of the Tír na nÓg GAA club in Portadown where he became known as 'Frank the Tank' after starring at various underage levels.

He played with the club from he was just four-years-old until last year. A friend said he was also “a big lover of dogs and hunting” in his spare time.

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A statement from the club on Sunday night says: "The committee, members, players and coaches of Tír na nÓg are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Frank James McCaffrey.

"We send our heartfelt condolences to Frank James’ mother Jean, father Francis, sisters Hayley and Rosa, cousins and players Joe, Tom and Sam and the entire family circle.

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"Frank James, fondly referred to by his teammates as “Frank the Tank” was a formidable forward and a key player on our U14 double championship winning and U16.5 championship winning teams.

"Frank always had a smile and a twinkle in his eye and provided the craic on many an away day with his team. A laid-back lad with a kind soul, who did his talking on the pitch.

"Frank James, we will remember you fondly. #ForeverYoung Mary, Queen of the Gael, Pray for him."

A tribute added yesterday from St Marys Yc Portadown ·said: “The Management, Staff and members of St Mary's would like to express their sincere condolences to the family of past member Frank James McCaffrey

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"Frank-James R.I.P., beloved son of Jean and Francis and dear brother of Haley and Rosa.

"Frank was a long time member of St Mary's, first entering our club from p4 and stayed as a member throughout his teenage years.

"His charming smile and bubbly personality were always present. He will be sorely missed

"Thoughts and Prayers are with the family and friends of Frank at this difficult time”.

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Another post on Armagh fans 1989 says: “Absolutely heartbreaking. RIP Frank James. Thoughts and prayers go to Franks family and friends at this sad time. Ar dheis de go raibh a anam”.

And a post from Lurgan Celtic FC adds: “All at Lurgan Celtic are saddened to learn of the death of former youth player Frank James McCaffrey.

"We send our condolences to Franks family and friends.RIP”.

Comments on the page pay tribute to the teenager. One says: “Absolutely heartbreaking, such a well mannered young man who I lifted along with Daire every Saturday for our games and whilst usually quiet was extremely funny at times. Thoughts with his family”, another tribute adds, “Sad news rip frank great kid and very talented footballer was an absolute pleasure to coach also”.