Hundreds say goodbye to 'the Roy Keane of Meath' who died after fall in Lanzarote

Hundreds say goodbye to 'the Roy Keane of Meath' who died after fall in Lanzarote
Mourners at the funeral of Michael Leddy in Navan today. Pic: Seamus Farrelly

The talented 15-year-old footballer who was tragically killed in a fall in Lanzarote last week was affectionately known as 'the Roy Keane of Meath,' mourners heard at his funeral Mass earlier today.

Hundreds of teenagers were among the huge congregation who turned out in force to say their final farewells to Michael (Mikey) Leddy at St Mary's Church in Navan, Co. Meath, today.

The popular teenager, who was given a guard of honour to the Church by teammates of both Navan O'Mahony's GAA Club and Johnstown FC, died last Tuesday after a fall in Peurto del Carmen where he was on holidays with his parents.

He was due to turn 16 next month.

At the funeral Mass, friends brought up Mikey's Gaelic and Soccer club shirts as well as awards including top goal scorer 2017 in the Under 14 Premier League.

Mikey's Johnstown FC soccer coach Ross Symonds read a poem on Mikey which remembered "the smile and twinkling eyes of its golden boy."

Mourners at the funeral of Michael Leddy in Navan today. Pic: Seamus Farrelly
Mourners at the funeral of Michael Leddy in Navan today. Pic: Seamus Farrelly

The poem recalled Mikey's "quick and thunderous right foot which was inventive and complete". A champion, Mikey would be with the club "forever in our heart and soul," he read.

In his homily, celebrant Fr Louis Illah said that Mikey's death has caused "unimaginable pain, shock and grief" when the news of his passing in Lanzarote broke and left a community heartbroken last week.

"Mikey was a lovely, lovely talented young man, full of life and promise. He was best remembered for his broad smile and his emphatic performance in the field of sport.

"He was a multi-talented footballer who made his mark in gaelic and soccer. He was dubbed the Roy Keane of Co. Meath."

Fr Louis said that whether Mikey wore the no.14 jersey of the O'Mahony's GAA Club, the no.18 jersey of Drogheda United or the no.10 jersey of Johnstown FC, he showed "exceptional qualities" and was a "stand-out player".

He said the Meath Chronicle had once said that Mikey would "probably make a big sporting impact in the future," but Fr Louis added: "This was not to be as his life was cut short at such a young age".

"Mikey was renowned for his infectious presence, he was a huge bundle of joy who loved the craic, loved music and adventure.. He loved life and lived it to the fullest. He touched the lives of so many.

He asked the congregation to "expand the frontiers of warmth, laughter, friendship, hard work and commitment that is associated with Mikey."

On behalf of Mikey's parents Damien and Aisling, brothers Cody, Daniel and Jack and extended family, Fr Louis extended thanks to Canon Stan Evans of the hospital in Lanzarote for his "tremendous support" , the young people who organised and turned out at a balloon release in his memory in Navan last week and everyone for their messages of support.

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