Hundreds pay their respects to much loved community man

People from all walks of life attended Damian McGovern's funeral to pay their respects

People from all walks of life attended Damian McGovern’s funeral to pay their respects

THE DEATH, as a result of a work accident took place on Friday morning last of 47-year old Damian McGovern, Derrygonnelly. He was married to Leanne and was the father of Gavin, Rian, Ronan and Niamh. He was a son of Irene and the late Sonny.

A PSNI spokesman said police were called to an incident in the Ely Lodge area of Enniskillen at around 10.45am on Friday morning last, October 2nd, as a result of which an injured man was rushed to hospital where he died. It is thought that Mr McGovern was fatally injured while working with a saw.


The spokesman confirmed that the  Ambulance Service  attended the scene.

News of the tragedy stunned not alone the local community but, also, the entire county. The deceased was heavily involved with Derrygonnelly Harps GAA Club and, at the time of death, he was manager of the club’s u18s (minors) and chairman of its youth committee.

Damian was well-known among the GAA fraternity throughout Fermanagh. Last Sunday’s county senior football final between the Harps and Roslea, and, also, the U-16 final were postponed as a mark of respect.

A spokesman for Derrygonnelly Harps, Brendan Rasdale said this week:  “It’s very difficult to verbalise how people here feel because I don’t think people would have taken it in yet. But, it’s not just the club’s loss. It is obviously the family’s loss, the McGovern and McGinley families.”

Business-wise, Damian was a former publican and carried on the family’s undertaking business following the death of his father.

The final removal of the remains, from his late home to St Patrick’s Church, took place on Monday morning. The coffin was flanked all the way to the church by members of Damian’s U-18s and passed  between a guard of honour made up entirely of Derrygonnelly Harps members wearing the club’s maroon and gold colours.

There was an overflow attendance at the Mass. A marquee in the carpark relayed the service to some 200 mourners, and as many more again stood outside on the Knockmore Road for the duration.


The principal celebrant, Fr Jimmy McPhillips, PP, said Damian was ‘the type of guy whom others could lean on, how often was he the strength, the rock, the comfort, the enthusiasm, the motivator that others needed’.

He was assisted in the Mass by Mgr Macartan McQuaid, chaplain of St Michael’s College, Fr Brian D’Arcy, CP, Rector, Fr Seamus Quinn, PP Cleenish, a native of the parish, and Fr Lorcan Lynch, a former parish priest of Botha (now Clontibret).

At the end of Mass, the earlier guard of honour was joined by representatives of the three schools that the McGovern children attend, Killyhommon PS, St Joseph’s College and St Michael’s College, and by Willowbridge School in Enniskillen where Leanne is a member of staff. Belcoo GFC was also represented.

Burial took place at the adjoining cemetery.

Damian is further survived by his brothers, John and Roger, by his sister, Grainne, by his father-in-law, Pat McGinley and the extended McGovern and McGinley families.

Local councillor, Bernice Swift, a lifelong friend of Damian and a relative of his wife, Leeanne was among the many who paid tribute to the deceased.

“It was with total shock and a very heavy heart that I was plunged into the reality of Damian’s very untimely and tragic death and the magnitude of this loss for Leeanne and their four lovely children.”

The local Church of Ireland and Methodist ministers were among the many callers to the wakehouse on Saturday evening.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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