The late Brian McGinnity, Cartron Big, Longford
“You were too good for this world.”
The straightforward yet intensely poignant words used to describe the tragic passing of much admired Longford man Brian McGinnity at the 24-year-old's funeral mass last week.
The much loved and amiable UCD graduate was tragically killed in a single vehicle road collision on the Cullyfad Road at Coolnahinch shortly after midnight on December 17 last.
His heartbroken Uncle, Stephen, delivered a moving eulogy and told of how his nephew’s love of flying saw him become Ireland’s youngest pilot at 17-years-old.
“He had his pilot’s licence even before he had his provisional driver’s licence and he was good at it,” he said.
“When he was doing his own solo flying exam it was Brian who was giving advice to the examiner.”
The decision to become a pilot was one which was in no way alien to the McGinnity household with Brian opting to follow in the footsteps of his father, Eoin and grandfather, Eugene.
An astute intellect, onlookers were informed of how the Cistercian College secondary pupil found academic success relatively trouble-free, so much so at one stage school management contacted his father fearing he was “dossing” his way through his Leaving Cert.
“And then he got 550 points,” intejected Stephen, adding how he would then go on to study Commerce in UCD.
Further educational accolades would follow with Brian becoming a graduate of the the Dublin third level's prestigious Business School before later obtaining an Msc in aviation finance.
Even as most recently as earlier this year, members of the congregation heard how Brian had become an associate fund accountant.
In a more light-hearted tone, Stephen recalled when the after effects of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York had gripped the watching world.
Not Brian though, he smiled, as the then four-year-old had no qualms in insisting the house watch Pokemon instead of the news.
“And boy did he let them know,” he quipped.
Away from the books, Brian would later develop a keen interest in music, attaining a diploma in piano at an early age as well as becoming an accomplished double bass player.
“He also had a great eye for film,” continued Stephen. “Earlier this year he called me about this movie he saw that blew him away, it Once Upon a Time in America.
“I saw it in my 20s, I couldn’t appreciate it like he did.
“After talking to him for about 40 minutes I went back and watched it and realised his understanding of film was exceptional.
“To be honest, pretty much everything he did was exceptional."
Symbols highlighting those talents including a set of wings, together with a family photo and musical records were brought to the altar as lyrics from one of his most treasured tracks, Bob Dylan’s ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ reverberated around a stony silent cathedral.
“Brian was a person with a rare combination of qualities,” he added.
“He was kind, light hearted, mild-mannered. He could voice his opinions, he was never opinionated. He was never judgemental, he was his own man.
“For me it was just a privilege to be his uncle.
“You were too good for this world Brian, maybe you are needed elsewhere and we are going to miss you.”
Chief celebrant, Fr Brendan O’Sullivan underlined many of those emotions as he paid testament to the infinite love and support Brian had received in achieving those aims from his proud father Eoin, late mother Kathryn, sisters Aileen, Katie and Jane as well as his grandparents and extended family.
Fr O’Sullivan said his early schooling at Gaelscoil Longfoirt and Cistercian College in Roscrea had provided the perfect grounding for Brian to excel in almost every facet of life he set his mind to.
One of those, he said, included the time spent working alongside Eoin in the family run hardware store Providers and being the “wonderful” son he took immense honour in fulfilling.
“Brian was a very bright and intelligent young man,” he said.
“He was able to set goals and achieve whatever he put his mind to.
“A great son and brother, grandson and nephew, graduate, pilot, the genius, fly high.”
Following funeral mass, burial took place at Ballymacormack Cemetery.
The late Brian McGinnity is pre-deceased by his beloved mother Kathryn and by his grandparents Sean and Eileen Gallagher. Brian will be sadly missed and remembered with love by his family, father Eoin, sisters Aileen, Katie and Jane, grandfather Eugene, grandmother Finola, aunt Lisa, uncles Colin and Stephen, relatives and many friends.
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