MOURNERS at the funeral of Michael Flanagan this week heard him described by his heartbroken parents as “the light in their lives” and someone who brought “cheer to their hearts”.
Michael (28) from Carran West, Garrison, tragically passed away at the South West Acute Hospital on Friday morning. His death occurred just hours after he was taken from the River Erne near the Glen Eden Hotel in Belleek. A helicopter, two ambulances and fire brigade personnel were called out to the emergency incident in the village of Belleek shortly after 6pm on Thursday.
A past pupil of St Martin’s Primary School in Garrison and St Michael’s College, Enniskillen, Michael later graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a Masters Degree in International Relations.
He worked for a period in Canada but returned in more recent years to work at home including as a barman in Keown’s Riverside Bar in Garrison and in the Garavogue Bar in Sligo where he was noted as a very pleasant and friendly young man.
Very highly regarded by young and old, a few weeks ago Michael had been a groomsman at a friend’s wedding.
Michael was laid to rest on Monday following funeral mass at St Mary Queen of Peace Church in what was one of the largest ever funerals held in the west Fermanagh village.
In a graveside message, his grieving parents Sadie and Gerry described their only son as “charming, charismatic and caring”.
They added: “He was a light in their lives and he brought cheer to their hearts”.
“Michael loved Carran West and he loved the little village of Garrison that shaped him and helped him grow into a very fine young man. Michael had a great life in his home, his education and his sport where he played underage for Devenish.
“Indeed he had many sporting interests, fishing darts, soccer, GAA and he even played GAA for Halifax Gaels in Canada and Seoul Gaels in Korea and was PRO of West Ham Supporters Club.
“His social life in Garrison was also great with good friends. He had charm in spades and a great way with people.”
They added: “We may feel that Michael has left life too soon but we can also say he live life to the fullest. Not an hour was wasted. He was a young man for all places and all people, a fine young man.
“When the Lord welcomes Michael into his Heavenly home, he will bring him to a window where he can look down on Garrison and he will do his best to look our for his family, his people and his place.
“May he now rest in the peace he so richly deserved”.
Their words came after a moving eulogy from parish priest Fr Tiernach Beggan who spoke eloquently to all young people about how much they were loved and valued. He urged them to always seek to talk about life’s difficulties and to know that help was available.