A TEENAGER who died after he took a substance at the Indiependence music festival in Mitchelstown had a ‘cheeky’ smile with his sunny disposition enriching the lives of all those who knew him, his funeral mass heard.
Jack Downey (19) of Ard Caoin in Clonmel passed away on August 5th having been rushed to Cork University Hospital three days earlier after he fell ill. He had strong family connections in Glengarriff through his father’s family.
Thousands attended his removal where Jack lay in repose at Clonmel Óg Hurling & Football Club. A huge congregation also gathered at his requiem mass in St Oliver’s Church in Clonmel.
Johnny Downey, father of the late Jack, said he wasn’t one for ‘fancy words’ but recalled the birth of his only child, telling mourners that Jack was 11lbs when he was born – he was a ‘big man, even then’. Mr Downey urged Jack’s friends and loved ones to watch out for each other.
‘There is no blame. He will be missed – his friends are now to look after each other and not forget.
I used to sit back and just admire him – he was a man with a presence. A cheeky little smile. He was a fabulous boy, and I am proud to call him my son.’
Elaine Downey spoke of her fond memories of her son, who was a goalie with Clonmel Óg.
She wept as she described Jack as ‘the star” of his entire family.
‘Jack William Downey – you were the love of my life,’ she said. ‘From the bottom of my heart I want to thank everyone here today, especially all the young people, for doing so much to help our family.’
Jack is survived by his heartbroken parents Elaine and Johnny, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, relatives and friends. Burial followed the mass at St Patrick’s cemetery.