A RATHFRILAND father-of-four and part-time firefighter, who died suddenly last week, “lived life to the full”, the congregation gathered at his funeral mass heard.
Sean Maginn was aged just 29 when he died and leaves behind his partner June and four children Tiarnan, Jamie Lee, Darragh and Caoimhe - aged between nine years old and five months old.
Canon Francis Brown told mourners at his funeral in St Mary’s Church in Rathfriland, that Sean had been described as “an incredible young fellow, a lovely young man who had a pair of hands that enabled him to do extremely excellent work in his trade.”
Sean, who worked as a welder with Tom Travers, was also a part-time firefighter, and only a few weeks ago helped extinguish a serious blaze near Rathfriland when a combine harvester and tractor went on fire.
His dedication to the Fire Service was recognised when colleagues formed a guard of honour at his funeral.
Randy McComb, Group Commander of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said, “We were deeply saddened to hear of the sudden death of Retained Firefighter Sean Maginn from Rathfriland Fire Station.
“Sean was a much respected Firefighter who helped protect our community over the last seven years. He is greatly missed by everyone in the Fire and Rescue Service.”
The Maginn home was said to be packed with mourners during his wake, and the church was full to capacity for the funeral mass.
Canon Brown said, “Sean was a young man who really loved life and always appeared happy with a smile on his face. He loved his gardening, enjoyed working with the poultry, was a good cook and I am reliably told that his wheaten bread and apple tarts were second to none.
“He loved music and enjoyed playing the guitar. His love of darts was known to his many friends and he just loved karaoke.”
Tribute was also paid to Sean’s life as a family man. “By way of summary, Sean was a dedicated father who always wanted the best for each of his children. He was a family person and very much part of his family and he loved having his family close to him.”
The priest also told anyone who was feeling despair to look at the pain Sean’s death had caused and to speak about their feelings.
“I think that it is extremely important to say today that I believe Sean is at peace and is happy. However, his death has brought about such grief to the Maginn family and Sean’s very many friends.
“I want everyone to realise this afternoon the absolute grief that exists in this community and should anyone here be feeling life difficult at the moment to think very carefully about the pain that this death has caused and speak to someone so that we can avoid the pain and trauma suffered by this family to any other family. We as a community want to support and help at all times and I plead to anyone to make every effort to prevent such an occurrence ever again.”