GAA preacher Frank Hogan who took his famous yellow Bible sign JOHN 3:7 to matches across the country, was laid to rest today.
The 81 year-old Tipperary native, who was known fondly to hurling, football and camogie supporters across the country, was buried in his family’s plot at Mount St Lawrence Cemetery, in Limerick.
Mr Hogan’s simple oak coffin was draped in a yellow flag that was stitched with “John 3:7”, which referred to the Bible verse according to John: “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again’”.
Earlier, a fan wearing a t-shirt with the verse emblazoned across it joined others and Mr Hogan’s family at a prayer service, held at Thompson’’s Funeral Home.
His trusted preaching prop stood over his coffin alongside a back-up board.
As per his wishes, Mr Hogan, a Born Again Christian, had his remains brought directly from the funeral parlour to his grave.
A crowd of about 50 mourners travelled to the cemetery where Mr Hogan’s friend Gerry Nugent paid a heartfelt tribute.
“There are those who are here today who are sad and broken-hearted. For surely, death severs life’s long ties between loved ones here below,” said Mr Nugent, a fellow gospel preacher.
When Mr Hogan, who later became affectionately known as “John 3:7”, started bringing his sign to matches he was “often abused”.
The wrath of others didn’t hinder him though from spreading his message of hope and forgiveness, mourners heard.
“For sure, Frank was not a perfect man with no faults at all, but like this sinner in a suit before you, and yourselves, if you are honest, sinners all, Frank saw that he and you and I could be saved by grace of God through faith,” Mr Nugent said.
Mr Hogan was brave to “nail his colours to the mast” in a “land of wickedness”, he said.
“Year after year, Frank trod the roads for God, to Munster finals, All-Irelands, club games, and often in the wet and cold.”
But he was sheltered from the storms, in friends homes, as he travelled to sportsgrounds north and south.
“He loved the company, the banter. Why did he carry that sign? Because Frank Hogan was born again, saved by the grace of God, he wanted everybody in the world to know about it,” Mr Nugent added.
Mr Hogan is survived by his wife Myrna, son Jason, and daughter Natasha.