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Lifelong friends died as they lived – together


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Lifelong friends died as they lived – together Lifelong friends died as they lived – together

THERE were poignant scenes this week at the Church of the Resurrection, Ballinfoyle, when touching homily tributes were paid to the local teenagers who lost their lives last weekend in the Menlo Pier drowning tragedy.

Fr. Kevin Blade, current Adm. at Castlegar Church and former PP at Ballinfoyle until 2017, recalled many happy memories from the young lives of John Keenan (16) and Christopher Stokes (19), at their Requiem Masses this week.

He told packed congregations at Ballinfoyle Church of the happiness that both teenagers had brought to their families and friends during their short lifetimes, and he also prayed for the third teenager who died in the drowning – Wojcieck Panek from Kilkenny.

At yesterday’s funeral Mass for Christopher Stokes, he spoke of the close bond between the two Galway boxers for all of their young lives.

“They died as they lived – together,” he said. “They will be buried in the same cemetery, the same ground and we pray that they will enter heaven together, hand in hand.”

At the Requiem Mass for John Keenan on Wednesday, Fr. Blade spoke of the ‘deep pain and crushed spirits’ caused by the untimely death of the three teenagers which had left all who knew them with feelings of total sadness and desolation.

This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read full coverage, see the February 17 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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