A GREAT sense of pride was shared at the funeral of Donegal GAA legend Martin Griffin today.
Mr Griffin, who passed away suddenly on Saturday, was laid to rest in his hometown of Stranorlar this morning.
His Funeral Mass heard stories of friendship, of family moments and of sporting achievements.
A powerhouse player for Donegal and Sean Mac Cumhaills in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Martin (Big Griff) had a distinguished career that inspired countless teammates and young players.
While he had a formidable presence on the pitch, he has been remembered as a gentle giant and a true friend to many.
Fr Kevin McAteer, Parish Priest of Stranorlar, told mourners at The Church Of Mary Immaculate that Martin gave so many wonderful moments to Mac Cumhaills and Donegal supporters that made him the legend that he is today.
“Away from the roar of the crowd he was a good natured, simple soul, any damage he did was to full forwards and to himself,” remarked Fr McAteer.
Kind-hearted stories about Martin came pouring in following his death, Fr McAteer said, including a time when Martin brought a match ball to a sick child and another time when he gave a person CPR.
Fr McAteer told Martin’s heart-broken family: “You’re sad today, but you have a great sense of pride, and you should have.”
Former club and county teammate Brendan Dunleavy said it was a privilege, an honour and a challenge to summarise Martin Griffin in a eulogy.
Friends from a young age, the pair became teammates and shared many memories in battles over the years.
“He was a true friend, if you had Martin on your side you had very little to fear,” said Brendan.
Recalling happy memories, he added: “He did things his way, and what a way it was.”
Mr Griffin is mourned by his wife, Margaret, daughters Ann Marie and Donna, his mother May, his brothers, Larry, Kenny, Seamus, Gerry, and Tony, his sisters, Christina, Mary, Anne and Sharon, his grandchildren, nieces, nephews and an extended circle of family and friends. He has been laid to rest at Drumboe Cemetary.
Ar dhéis Dé go raibh a anam.