City turns out to sign condolences for Shane

SILENT queues formed as people numbed by this latest murder waited to sign a book of condolence for the family of Shane Geoghegan.

The city’s mayor, Cllr John Gilligan, and city manager, Tom Mackey, were among the first of a long line who came to city hall to pay their respects.

John Purcell, a member of the Young Munster Club and a well-known referee, was also among the early signatories.

He said: “I was a linesman at the game last March in which Shane captained Garryowen to win the Gleeson League.”

Jean Ryan from Raheen said: “I live not too far from Kiltiragh. We are shocked and horrified that ordinary people living ordinary lives can be confused so much with the criminal element in our midst.

“You don’t know who you are living beside anymore, do you? Obviously somebody in the neighbourhood is connected to a criminal gang and this man was mistaken, it’s just awful. It could have happened to anyone in any part of the city. They don’t seem to be able to come to grips with this crime.”

A visibly bewildered Ger Clarke, chairman of the club, yesterday spoke of Shane Geoghegan, the committed Garryowen player and proud club man.

Ger said he saw something special in Shane last March 9 when he led the third team to win the Gleeson League in a final against arch rivals, Thomond.

“As Shane was going up to get the cup, he called all the Thomond players over to join in the photograph being taken. When he made his victory speech he did it with such style, covering everything that needed to be said, I said to myself, Garryowen’s future is in good hands, Shane will make a great club president in the future,” Ger said.

“He had friends in every club who met him. Even if the team lost a game he would take them to Garryowen pubs in town such as Bobby Byrnes. He was a great galvaniser of the team and now we are trying to galvanise around Shane unfortunately.”

Mr Clarke said Shane was a lovely human being.

He added: “That’s what one needs to primarily know about Shane Geoghegan. We are still in a state of shock. It’s something none of us knows how to deal with.

“At this stage our concern are for his family and the players who played with him in Garryowen. The level of shock and trauma they are going through is something I haven’t seen in a long time.”

Garryowen club secretary Eoghan Prendergast said the Geoghegan family had long links with the club as players and administrators.

A current vice-president, Tony Geoghegan, is Shane’s uncle. He said: “Everybody is so numbed by this. To happen to such a nice guy, a player younger players looked up to. People in the club can’t talk today. We will stick together in this.”

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