Funeral hears how Lorcán ‘put a lot of living into short life’

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Family and friends from a “heartbroken” community have gathered for the funeral of Hilltown man Lorcán Branagan.

The talented Clonduff GAA player had travelled to Sydney in November 2023, and was due to return home in the coming weeks, but passed away suddenly on March 24.

The news of Lorcán’s tragic death has brought devastating shock and grief to the Branagan family, who lost another son Pearce (23) in 2018, following a cardiac seizure.

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In the wake of his brother’s death, Lorcán had taken part in fundraising events in memory of his beloved sibling.

26-year-old Lorcan Branagan.26-year-old Lorcan Branagan.
26-year-old Lorcan Branagan.

Mourners gathered for Requiem Mass in St. John’s Church Ballymaghery, Hilltown, on Monday (April 8).

Those paying their respects were encouraged to wear bright colours.

The service was conducted by Fr Charles Byrne, who said the local community has been “plunged into darkness”.

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“We mourn the loss of his young life taken from us so quickly,” he remarked.

"Lorcán was held in very high esteem by all knew him.

"So many plans and expectations can be no more.

"His death emphasises to all of us, the slenderness of the thread between life and death, and the suddenness with which it can be broken.”

A former pupil of St Mark’s High School in Warrenpoint, and an Ulster University graduate, Lorcán was a pillar of the local GAA community.

While in Sydney, he continued to nurture his passion, playing for the Young Ireland Gaelic Football club.

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In a tribute posted on social media, his teammates said he "made an indelible impression both on and off the pitch".

“His talent, enthusiasm, and kindness endeared him to all who had the privilege of knowing him," they added.

"Words are woefully inadequate to express the pain and sorrow in our hearts.”

Lorcán had a love for travelling, and over the years had visited ten different countries, including memorable visits to the U.S, Kenya and China.

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Mourners at Monday's funeral service heard of Lorcán’s deep love for his family.

“His family were very central in his life,” said Fr Charles Byrne.

“They have many happy memories of his kindness and care.

"There was a very close bond between Lorcan and his brother Pearce.

“They are now reunited in eternal life.”

In a tribute to her brother, Lorcán's sister Caitlín described him as a "true gentleman who was full of joy".

"Lorcán truly lived his life to the fullest,” she added.

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"Our loss of Lorcán is immeasurable, the pain is indescribable, and we know he is simply irreplaceable.”

Newry based charity; the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust was responsible for bringing Lorcán’s body back home to Ireland.

In a bid to raise vital funds for the trust, the Branagan family set up an online donation forum.

In the first hour, the page surpassed its £10,000 target, and has now received donations of more than £74,000.

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Caitlín has appealed to the public to donate what they can, to help the grieving family.

"It’s the number none of us ever thought we’d have to ring, but we are so grateful for their help at this traumatic time.”

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