Dáire Maguire, a 46-year-old man from Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh, tragically lost his life during the Sligo Stages Rally on Sunday. Maguire was co-driving a Ford Escort when the car lost control and crashed into a wall, resulting in fatal injuries for both Maguire and his co-driver, Gene McDonald, a 35-year-old from Co Cavan.
Today, during Maguire’s funeral mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Newtownbutler, visiting priest Father Saghar Sabir paid tribute to the late Maguire. As the song ‘Go Rest High on That Mountain’ played, Father Sabir acknowledged the unexpected hole left in the hearts of those affected by tragedy. He described the loss of a beloved husband and father as an emotional experience that cannot be healed by any doctor.
Father Sabir encouraged the congregation to celebrate the life that Maguire lived and the joy he brought to those who knew him. He acknowledged that tragedy is not something we anticipate in our lives, but it is something that has deeply affected the community with the passing of Dáire Maguire.
During the funeral service, mourners wore motorsport jackets as a tribute to Maguire. Readings from Isaiah 25:8, the holy gospel of John 14, and a letter from St Paul to Romans were performed by Maguire’s family and friends. Younger members of the Maguire family also participated in the service, offering a prayer for all rally drivers and those involved in motorsport, as well as for the emergency services and Gardaí who responded to the crash.
Father Sabir continued his eulogy, highlighting Maguire’s love for cars and his involvement in rallying and motorsport for over two decades. Maguire’s passion for the sport took him all over Ireland and even abroad. He had a strong network of friends in the motorsport community, and his wife Breda, along with their children Meghan and Christopher, were always by his side, supporting him during races. Tragically, they were on their way to meet him after the race on Sunday when the accident occurred.
Father Sabir emphasized Maguire’s pride in his family and asked for God’s protection over them. He described Maguire as a person filled with unstoppable joy and love, a sacrifice that should not only be remembered but celebrated. The loss of Maguire will be deeply felt by the church and his family, and he will be greatly missed.
Following the fatal crash, the Sligo Stages Rally, organized by Connacht Motor Club, was immediately suspended. An investigation by the Gardaí is currently underway, and they have urged anyone with footage of the incident to refrain from sharing it on social media. Motorsport Ireland is also conducting its own investigation into the crash.
In conclusion, the tragic loss of Dáire Maguire has left a void in the hearts of those who knew him. His passion for rallying and motorsport, along with his unwavering love for his family, will be remembered and celebrated. The community mourns his passing, and investigations into the crash are ongoing to determine the circumstances surrounding this devastating incident.