Schoolboy ‘touched the hearts of many’

The cortege at the funeral of Jake Murphy making it's to St Joseph's Church, Galliagh, yesterday. (1207PG63)
The cortege at the funeral of Jake Murphy making it's to St Joseph's Church, Galliagh, yesterday. (1207PG63)

There were heartbreaking scenes yesterday as schoolboy Jake Murphy, who died suddenly on Sunday, was laid to rest.

The 11 year-old, who was due to start school at St. Joseph’s Boys’ School in September, died close to a building site at Northside on Sunday night after taking ill. The youngster had a pre-existing heart condition which was diagnosed when he was a baby.

The congregration at St. Joseph’s Church in Galliagh heard Fr. Dermott McGirr describe Jake as a child “who had touched many hearts with his personality, wit and warmth”.

The only son of Pete and Leona from Ardnamoyle Park, Jake was brother to four sisters. Fr. McGirr said that Jake had come from an exceptionally loving home and that he took great joy from his family and from being part of a wide family circle.

“He loved being around his sisters and his wider family,” Fr. McGirr said in his homily.

“Jake was a bright and witty young person. When there was craic and teasing he could always come back with a sharp answer. He was a bit of a character and he very much enjoyed life.”

Fr. McGirr said the schoolboy had been a great fan of fishing - and he loved to spend his time at the River Faughan with his uncles. Only last week he had got his new fishing licence.

Describing his character Fr. McGirr told the congregation that Jake loved his pet hamster Rocky - which he would take for a walk around the house using a home-made lead of wool and fishing line. He said the youngster had his mind set on getting a pet ferret and had already got the supplies he needed to build the new pet a hutch.

“That was the kind of boy he was, good at making things. He would take appliances apart to put them back together again out of curiosity and had developed an interest in technology which he was looking forward to studying at St. Joseph’s.”

Jake’s remains were met at the church by a guard of honour formed by his former school mates from Steelstown PS, where he had just completed primary seven.

Fr. McGirr said: “He was a great friend to all at his school.

“In his Confirmation book he wrote that he wanted to eventually get married and have children - and that is testament to the love which surrounded him and his experience of a happy home.”

Fr. McGirr added that Jake’s death had been a huge shock to the wider community.

Jake was laid to rest at the City Cemetery.