Belfast Telegraph

Funeral mourners hear peace plea

By Brendan McDaid
03 August 2004

Distraught mourners at the funeral of Londonderry assault victim Don McMenamin today heard pleas for an end to violence sweeping Northern Ireland.

In a hard-hitting message, Father Michael Canny spoke of the evil that was now stalking the streets of the province.

Speaking at the funeral in St Eugene's Cathedral today Fr Canny said: "The clenched fist, the iron bar or

the knife used against the other person must never be part of our thoughts or actions."

His comments came as mourner's turned out this morning for the funeral of "peacekeeper" Don McMenamin.

The 20-year-old died on Friday at Altnagelvin hospital, five days after being viciously battered with a wheelbrace. He had never regained consciousness.

Don's distraught mother Jeanette and stepfather Myles, this morning led the procession of mourners from his Rosemount Gardens home to St Eugene's Cathedral.

Don was hit in an unprovoked attack as he tried to break up a fight near his home last weekend.

One of the floral tributes today placed on the spot where he fell paid tribute to him with the words "peacemaker."

Fr Canny said violent deaths were now an all too frequent occurrence.

He added: "A death, no matter what the circumstances, in Belfast, Coleraine, Omagh or Limavady, does not have the same impact on us.

"It is only when evil visits our own community that its full effects are felt.

"Ten days ago evil visited our own parish and since then, it's fruits are obvious.

"The fruits of evil are the loss of a young life, parents without a son, sister and brother without a loved one, grandparents' hearts broken and friends in disbelief."

Don was described during today's service as an ordinary young man standing on the threshold of life.

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