THE funeral of Ruairi Ogs hurling fanatic John McKillop (60) took place today St Mary’s Church in his native Cushendall.
McKillop, who was hugely popular in Antrim GAA circles, passed away on Sunday after his health deteriorated rapidly since suffering a seizure on Christmas Day of last year.
In the requiem of today’s funeral, Parish Priest Fr Whiteford said: “John really enjoyed life. He loved and watched a lot of sport and was actually a good pool player. But, of course, people knew his great passion in life was hurling.
“John, I understand, is in every Ruairi Og championship-winning photograph since 1981, all 14 of them, and the Ruairi Og club and its members were very good to him.
“John was non-verbal and it was in Rathmoyle Centre in Ballycastle – a place he attended, until recent times and absolutely loved going to – where he learned sign language to help him communicate, although I’m led to understand if he was displeased about something he didn’t need sign language.”
John’s image has been immortalised in a mural painted on the gable of Cushendall’s Lurig Bar, inspired by an image taken by Irish News photographer Seamus Loughran. The Ruairi Ogs club also named their new strength and conditioning gym, opened earlier this year, after John.