The funeral Mass for the late Ryan McBride took place today, 23 March at Saint Columba’s Church, Long Tower, Derry City.
Father Aidan Mullan, administrator of Saint Columba’s Church and chief celebrant at the Mass, described Ryan as ‘an inspirational leader’ who was ‘brave and knew no fear’, saying, ‘We are grateful for Ryan’s powerful example.’ Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry, presided at the Mass.
In his Homily, Father Mullan said, ‘When we reflect on Ryan’s life, we think at the outset, we think of him as an athlete on his prime, who achieved much and still had great potential, a versatile and accomplished footballer, of the thrilling moments he brought to so many supporters of Derry City, and across Ireland, over the past seven years. The club management, the team, the supporters, all have been caught up in his natural footballing ability; in his courageous play.
‘As has been said many times: Ryan would put his head where other players would not put their boot. He was brave and knew no fear. As captain he was an inspirational leader in the dressing room and on the field of play.
‘We are grateful for Ryan’s powerful example.’
Father Mullan continued, ‘The primary chapter in Ryan’s story is that he was a child of God. I was reminded of last Sunday’s gospel when reflecting on Ryan’s life – the Samaritan women at the well speaking with Jesus: Worship on this mountain or in Jerusalem? And Jesus said, “true worship of the Father is done in Spirit and in truth.”
‘Ryan’s vocation as a child of God, what of it? I have learnt in the last several days that: Ryan’s character was forged by the generations of his family; by Ryan’s own love as he expressed and lived out his life in spirit and in truth.
‘As Ryan comes before God for judgement, Ryan no doubt will receive first class honours.
He went on to say, ‘And of Ryan’s loving family – his unexpected death has impacted on his nearest, and on all of us, as an appalling shock. We cannot fully take in the reality even as we carry out our funeral rites for our beloved Ryan.’
‘God does not explain why these demands are made of us, and even, I think if He did, we would not be able to understand. Such answers belong to Eternity, at the end of time, when God will wipe away all tears.’
Father Mullan concluded, ‘Ryan has passed through the dark door of death into the light of the Face of Christ and during this Holy Mass we pray for Ryan’s eternal peace and joy. Amen.’
Following the funeral Mass, Ryan McBride was buried alongside his mother Noreen at Derry City Cemetery.