The closely knit community of Ardara will come to a complete standstill this Sunday when they bury one of their own, Tomás Maguire from Glenview Park, in what will be a highly charged and emotional day for family, friends and the wider community.
It is understood that a minute’s silence will be observed or some other suitable gesture at this Saturday’s Ulster senior Championship quarter final clash between Donegal and Derry in Seán MacCumhaill Park as a mark of respect to a young man who was an inspiring leader on the football field, matched only by his natural athleticism and endearing personality.
Tomás (24), died last Monday week in western Australia, some 200km south east of Perth, as he was driving a pick up truck that rolled over, having reportedly struck a tree.
His remains are expected to arrive at Belfast International Airport this Friday at approximately 3.30pm before making the last part of the long journey home, through Omagh and onto Donegal Town.
The remains will be brought back to the family home at Glenview Park, Ardara, arriving at 7pm. They will be waked until 1.30pm on Sunday. Remains will then be removed to the Church of the Holy Family in Ardara for 2pm Funeral Mass, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.
Last Sunday, friends organised a Memorial Mass in Saint Subiaco, Perth which was also relayed via Skype to a large gathering of family and friends in Ardara.
Donegal GFC in Boston, where Tomás had also lived and played in recent years, remembered him by placing his jersey on the sideline, in a weekend game against Armagh at the Irish Cultural Centre.
A minute’s silence was also observed.
In recent days, it was also recalled that along with his GAA successes, he lined out last year with Eany Celtic with little or no organised soccer coaching as a lad, but he slotted straight into that team.
Tributes have continued to be posted through his Facebook page as those who knew him still try to come to terms with a loss that came so suddenly.
A planned party for 1992 hero and fellow Ardara man, Anthony Molloy, to be held in Kilcar this Friday, has been postponed as a mark of respect and may be re-scheduled at a later date.