Thousands pay tribute to “Gentle Giant” Shane
St. Joseph’s church was unable to accommodate the amount of mourners who attended the funeral mass of the 28 year old rugby star which was said by one of Shane’s secondary school teachers, Fr. Jim Maher.
The funeral was attended by Defence Minister Willie O’Dea ,Taoiseach Brian Cowens Aide de Camp as well as local councillors and local leaders. A litany of rugby stars were in attendance including members of The Irish rugby team and Munster rugby team, as well as former Irish rugby coach Eddie O'Sullivan.
Fr. Maher described the young man as a “gentle giant” during the service saying he hoped the shocking violence seen in Limerick will become a thing of the past.
“Hopefully Shanes death will mark a turning point in Limerick”, he said adding his hope that this “cycle of violence can be short-circuited and confined to history”.
As the church ceremony concluded, Shane’s brother Anthony recited a poem, Remember Me, which ended with the lines: “You can cherish his memory and live on. “You can cry, close your mind, be empty and turn your back. “Or you can do what he would want. “Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”
As Shane Geoghegan’s coffin left the church, draped in the Garryowen flag, those gathered along O' Connell Avenue broke into spontaneous applause.
His body was buried this lunchtime at the Old Mungret Cemetery beside his sister Katie who died at the age of 11 from Leukaemia.