James is laid to rest

Heartbroken friends and family walked behind the coffin of Catholic man James McMahon this week and heard parish priest Sean Rogan say his murder made a mockery of Lisburn City’s slogan “A City for Everyone.”

James was battered to death by a three-strong bloodthirsty loyalist mob as he made his way home close to the banks of the River Lagan last Thursday evening. He died from his injuries the following day.

Hundreds of mourners, mostly young friends of James, packed St Patrick’s Church in Lisburn for the funeral of the 21-year-old.

Fr Sean Rogan said: “It will take many floods of water to wash away the stain and the shame of that dark and foul murder of James McMahon."

James was beaten to death by a masked gang wielding baseball bats as he walked home along Hancock Street. The funeral cortege stopped for a moment’s silence close to the spot where he was attacked.

His mother Deirdre had asked that her son’s organs be donated following his death. Fr Rogan said: “What a contrast, that this women’s interest in giving life be so starkly opposite to the actions of those masked individuals who were dealing in death. We salute you for your bravery, for your thoughtfulness, for your generosity. You are an example to all of us.”

Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor Anthony Farquhar joined Fr Rogan at Requiem Mass for the murdered man.

The victim was the eldest of five children. James’s brothers, Ryan and Christopher, fought back the tears as they gave readings.

Bishop Farquhar praised the McMahon family for their dignity in the face of such pain.

And Bishop Farquhar added: “Some see a glass half empty, some see a glass half full. Today, however, we are starkly reminded that, whatever else, the glass still holds the dregs of bitterness and hatred.”

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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