THERE was enormous sadness today as Donegal gaelic football legend John Hannigan was laid to rest.
John, who played 114 consecutive games for Donegal through 17 championships in the 60s and 70s, was a much-loved member of his community in Letterkenny.
Fr Neil Carlin told mourners at a packed St Eunan’s Cathedral in Letterkenny this morning that John was one of life’s true gentlemen, humble, faithful and honest; a real family man who was dedicated to them.
A former psychiatric nurse, John, he said, had given so much to his community through his work and social life, especially to St Eunan’s GAA club of which he was a life long member and one of the team’s greatest ever players.
John’s coffin was draped in the black and amber flag of his club as it arrived at the cathedral for Requiem Mass, members of his club forming a guard of honour.
Many former Donegal and St Eunan’s players were in the congregation; his Donegal jersey and a family picture among the offertory gifts.
And after Mass John’s former colleagues at St Conal’s Hospital where he worked formed a guard of honour outside.
As the cortege made its way out of town to Conwal cemetery, it stopped outside O’Donnell Park where St Eunan’s club members lined up once again in his honour and presented the black and amber flag to John’s family.
Our county has lost one of its greats.