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In memory of Gabriel McGivern

In memory of Gabriel McGivern

Gabriel McGivern

1968 - 2020

Funeral Mass in St. Patrick and St. Colman's Church, Laurencetown
Sunday 22nd November 2020

Celebrant: Very Reverend Canon Powell P.P.

Gabriel was the youngest of three children born to Peter and his late mother Maureen. With his sisters Marie & Jacqueline, they lived in Tandragee coming to live in Gilford at the age of 8.

Mad into his sports from early childhood, Gabriel even taught himself to drive when aged eleven by taking his dads car down the hill in Tandragee with Jacqueline running after him. Very independent and determined, illustrated by when he was only aged 4 or 5 he absconded from his Aunt Shelia’s in Gilford and after a search was discovered back at home in Tandragee, making himself a cup of tea.

He went to primary school in St John’s Gilford before going on to St Patrick’s Banbridge where he excelled in all sports from Gaelic football, handball, hurling, soccer, athletics, table tennis, snooker & pool. He left school and went to the training centre in Craigavon, training as a plasterer.

Gabriel went on to play his football at Tullylish and his soccer with Lurgan Celtic and Gilford Crusaders amongst others. His highest achievement, of which he was so proud and often spoke of, was his win with Lurgan Celtic of the Junior Cup in 1991.

Gabriel then met Donna and after several years courtship they married in 1995 in St John’s Gilford and had a Dublin honeymoon. No doubt this was because this was during the football season and Gabriel had to be home and available for the following Saturday’s fixture.

Gabriel continued also to follow and participate in the GAA and truly enjoyed his days out at All-Ireland finals with Down in the early to mid 90’s. Like his father he also loved Manchester United and was actively involved in the supporter’s club and enjoyed trips over to Old Trafford to watch the reds.

In his work life, Gabriel continued to develop his skills as a plasterer. Again, Gabriel excelled in this trade and was widely recognised as a very skilful tradesman and his workmanship was sought out widely across the province.

However, it was on a Friday morning early into Feb 2000 when he left for his work that his life was to dramatically change. Later that day Gabriel was involved in a very serious accident that left him in intensive care at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. His strength and fitness saw him through and it was noted by his nurse in ICU that he was one of the biggest and fittest men that she had ever nursed. With the help of various hospitals, doctors, specialists & nurses, Gabriel eventually came home in September of 2000. His rehabilitation continued at home and he battled on to recover to the point where he was able to drive once again. At the same time, another influence was to come into Gabriel’s life - Tiny McGivern, his beloved pet dog. When Tiny 1 passed away, he was soon replaced by Tiny 2. Gabriel was often seen throughout the district walking Tiny and people would remark about little and large.

He also went on to get involved along with Donna in the brain injury foundation, a group set up to support the survivors and carers. He truly loved this group and was soon a very active member. He loved the social aspect of the group and also the activities such as the Tuesday club, gardening, and especially the many trips organised by them. He captained their pool team and competed in the Newry league.

Over the years Gabriel continued to remain positive in his outlook in life despite ongoing medical issues and interventions.

Gabriel continued to battle and indeed baffle his doctors and medical professionals throughout his assorted and serious illnesses. His final round came to an end on Thursday evening when he passed over into the arms of our Lord.

He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved the gentle giant, especially his wife Donna, father & sisters. He loved the company of his many nieces & nephews and took great interest in their lives, activities and achievements.

A message from Gabriel’s sister, Jacqueline was read at the beginning of Mass.

Unfortunately, Jacqueline, Dwyer, Conor, Ciara could not cannot attend because of isolation.
To my dearest Gabriel, it is with deep regret and a heavy heart that Dwyer, Conor, Ciara and myself cannot be here with you today during this extremely sad time. It has broken my heart not being able to visit you this past week or be in attendance here today due to isolation. I know that you read my last text message saying that I loved you and I always will. I miss you terribly and hope that one day we will meet again. Rest in peace Gabriel from the entire Scullion family.

On behalf of Peter, Marie and Jacqueline we would like to thank Donna for everything she has done for Gabriel over the past number of years. We know it has been extremely tough, but it was greatly appreciated. Thank you for everything. From the McGivern Family.




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