THE sound of children’s laughter last night rang through an estate in the Dooradoyle suburb of Limerick in a poignant tribute to a very special man who lived peacefully but who died at the hands of a ruthless gunman.
Kilteragh, through old-style street games and fun, was remembering local resident Shane Geoghegan, who was brutally murdered as he walked home on November 9, 2008.
The 24-year-old rugby captain with Garryowen FC was mistaken for another person targeted by a notorious drugs gang.
The Shane Geoghegan Trust was formed with the aim of returning the streets of Limerick to local residents and their families, through neighbourhood sports and active engagement.
The initiative was launched in Kilteragh and will, over the coming months, branch out into areas throughout the city and county.
And, tonight, Niall Quinn will bring his Sunderland first team to play a friendly at Thomond Park against a Munster XI. The fixture is expected to raise more than €50,000 for the trust.
Members of the Geoghegan family yesterday attended a ceremony in the headquarters of Limerick County Council at which a plaque in Shane’s memory was unveiled.
Shane’s father Tom Geoghegan became visibly upset as he thanked all who helped form the trust in honour of his son.
Council chairman, Cllr Richard Butler said the murder was a mindless attack on a civilised society, as much as it was an attack on a respected citizen.
“Somebody’s private war raised its head in the wider community with devastating effect,” he said.
Today has been designated “A Day for Shane” in Limerick at which the game at Thomond Park will be the highlight.
A group of young GAA players will commence the proceedings, when Patrickswell under-12s take to the hallowed rugby field.
Hundreds of children will also take part in a street games display.
Sunderland chairman Mr Quinn has advised the trust, which is being modelled on a foundation run by his club to run a range of community projects in that city.
Ger Clarke of the trust said the goal is to show that a person like Shane who gave so much to his community and to Garryowen can be honoured by Limerick.
He said 150 children each night are taking part in the street games in Kilteragh. “It will run for a six-week period in Kilteragh and that’s the pilot of what we are going to roll out in all the estates around Limerick.”
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