FERMOY SAYS GOODBYE TO STUART
Shops and businesses in Fermoy closed their doors as the town came to a standstill for Stuart Mangan’s final journey to Kilcrumper Cemetery following his funeral last Friday, August 14.
The 26 year old from Cullenagh, near Fermoy Golf Club, died following complications arising from a spinal injury he suffered in London in April 2008.
Stuart’s injury saw him paralysed from the neck down, and sparked a massive fundraising drive across the country to aid the mounting costs of Stuart’s round the clock care.
International rugby players both past and present such as Ronan O’Gara and Alan Quinlan, who backed various campaigns for Stuart, were in attendance at the funeral and removal last Thursday. Twelve priests, led by Fr Eugene Baker, presided over the funeral Mass.
“It is a day of mixed emotions. For many of us it is like the sweet and sour of life, the yin and the yang, the ups and the downs, the positive and the negative. Today, we could rightly be joyous for Stuart, liberated now as he is in our faith.
"But also we are sad, sad to the core because such a wonderful young man, such an inspirational young man, has been taken quickly from us.
"The 489 days since his accident have been enlightening, and the ripple effect of his courage has travelled near and far, so that so many of us here today will come in recognition of how Stuart’s heroic recovery, his courageous adaptability to a horrific situation has inspired us all,” Fr Baker said in his opening comments.
In his homily Fr Baker paid tribute to Stuart’s fighting spirit.
“Stuart was graced with such indomitable spirit, with such steely courage and a gutsy humour so that the 489 extra days he was left with us has fanned a flame of light, so wonderful in brightness, so pleasant in bearing, so wholesome in value that all who came into his presence have come away with sunburn on our faces, nay even embarrassment, it might be red embarrassment, at how weak we are in his presence.”
St Patrick’s Church in Fermoy was packed to capacity for the funeral Mass, with speakers set up outside the church to cater for those unable to make it inside. The large congregation broke into applause for Stuart’s parents Una and Brian when praised by Fr Baker.
“We salute and laud with a loud voice today all that is healthy and positive in a home which can turn out a family of young men as those we admire in the Mangan household,” he said.
Fr Baker added that it was important to remember and celebrate Stuart’s life before his tragic accident, and recalled years ago when Stuart, then studying Law in UCC, would do readings at Saturday night Mass in preparation for working in the courtroom.
Fr Baker continued by explaining that Stuart jokingly compared Mass with a courtroom setting, with ‘the judge up there, the lawyers in the front row, the condemned down the back and the guilty outside the door.’
In a moving tribute, Brian Mangan spoke of Stuart’s generosity, recalling when his son traded in a piece of cut glass he had won in a golf tournament for a watch for his father.
Stuart’s generosity continued, Brian explained, even after his death. As per his instructions, Stuart’s organs have been donated with some patients already having received life-changing operations thanks to Stuart. Mr Mangan also thanked everyone who supported Stuart from around the world, and in particular his home town of Fermoy.
“The support of the people of Fermoy has been amazing,” he noted. It has been revealed that the money in Stuart’s trust will be used to help other incapacitated people in Ireland, with a Stuart Mangan foundation to be established in the future.
Thursday 20th August 7:22pm