There was palpable sorrow and grief in the village of Ballintogher yesterday as murder victim Jimmy Loughlin was laid to rest.
Friends described Jimmy as a 'lovely guy' who 'wouldn't harm a fly'.
Hundreds gathered to pay their respects to the popular 20-year-old who was struck down as he opened his door to his assailant at his apartment in Sligo town last Saturday.
A visibly upset guard of honour from Coola, his former secondary school, stood in silence in -3c freezing conditions awaiting the cortege to arrive from the family home in Kinross, just a couple of miles away on the road to neighbouring village of Ballygawley.
Ironically on the day of his burial, Jimmy and his girfriend were booked to fly to Poland for a short break.
The funeral stopped at the outskirts of the village from where friends from both GAA and the local soccer club, Ballygawley Celtic, along with colleagues from McDonald's carried Jimmy's remains the final 400 metres to St. Theresa’s Church for the noon service.
The McDonalds' staff wore specially commissioned black baseball-style hats in tribute to their friend and workmate who had worked part-time at the Carraroe outlet since his school transition year in 2014.
Staff members from IT Sligo, where Jimmy studied until recently, were also present. Football and McDonalds colleagues carrying Jimmy's remains to St. Theresa’s Church
The church was packed to capacity with many standing outside listening to the service on speakers.Fr Vinny Connaughton told the congregation that it was was difficult for people to come to terms with the way in which Jimmy was taken from them.
Describing the tragedy as 'sad and cruel' and that memories of Jimmy would always be 'good and warm'.
Gifts brought to the alter included Jimmy's hat, that he always wore, headphones representing his new career as a DJ and aftershave that Fr Connaughton said was always an expensive one. Standing outside the packed Church. Photo: SligoToday.ie
Thomas Walsh, Ballygawley Development Association said, "The mass turnout of young people today is a testament to Jimmy, his personality, his kind nature and his popularity. Nothing will make what happened to Jimmy Loughlin okay, there will never be any justified reasoning for this barbaric, unprovoked and shocking attack. Our community has lossed out again, lossed out on someone with their whole future ahead of them. The death of Jimmy Loughlin is all our loss."
A 31-year-old man charged on Monday with murder is due to appear again tomorrow at Harristown Court however because of weather conditions an adjournment is expected.
A notice yesterday on the door of McDonald's in Carraroe
. Photo: SligoToday.ieSee Related Articles above