`We can't stand in his family's shoes, but we
can empathise with them in their hour of loss'
by MARY MAGEE
principal of Friends School has paid a glowing tribute to former
pupil James Magee, who was killed with three of his police
colleagues in a road accident near Warrenpoint in the early
hours of Sunday morning.
Mrs Elizabeth Dickson said James was 'a fine
young man' who had attended the school with twin sister Sarah,
from 1992 to 1999.
Mrs Dickson said: "James was a fine young man
and was highly thought of by all who knew him. He is remembered
by his teachers as someone who was fully involved in our school
'A keen musician, he played the trumpet in
the School orchestra and sang in the choir. James worked hard,
upheld high standards and was always willing to be of service to
others. He was an example to all."
The 27 year old policeman was killed
alongside three other police officers when their vehicle hit a
wall and went on fire on the Moygannon Bridge near Warrenpoint
as they went to the assistance of a colleague.
Constable Magee was originally from Dromore
but had moved to Newcastle. He lost his life along with his
colleagues Kevin Gorman from Drumaness and Declan Green and
Kenny Irvine who were both from Kilkeel. Their Mitsubishi Shogun
4x4 struck a wall and caught fire as they responded to a call
for assistance in Rostrevor.
Constable Magee's parents are Dromore couple
Bawn and Freda Magee. Mrs Magee is a former teacher in Dromore
High School. He joined the PSNI three years ago and was believed
to be in line for promotion.
Dromore HS Principal Mr. John Wilkinson said:
"Dromore High School was deeply saddened at the tragic loss of
"We can't stand in his family's shoes but we
can empathise with them in their hour of loss." Assistant Chief
Constable Judith Gillespie said her "heart went
out" to all the families who had lost loved
ones as the result of the recent road crashes.
She said speculation about the cause of the
crash which killed the four policemen was unhelpful at this
"It is devastating for their families and our thoughts and
prayers are with the families at this time," she said.
The funeral of James Magee at Dromore
Cathedral on Wednesday.
`We must thank God for the character of the
life he lived'
CONSTABLE Magee's funeral took place at
Dromore Cathedral on Wednesday.
The Very Rev Stephen Lowry told hundreds of
mourners it had been a "privilege" to know him.
The Dean of Dromore said: "I need to begin my
tribute to James with the phrase 'James Magee was' — three words
which fill our hearts with heaviness today, yet words which also
preface our brief celebration of his young life, his fine
character and his quiet faith.
"People speak of his good manners, his
endless acts of kindness and his able mind. His colleagues speak
of his willingness and enthusiasm for his work. His family speak
of his utter loveliness as a son and brother.
"His death has brought to a sudden end many
of the hopes that we had for him but it has brought no shame for
he died on duty in the prime of life, with everything to live
for. We cannot thank God for the manner of the death he died but
we must thank Him for the character of the life he lived."
Dean Lowry added that Constable Magee
"continued to seek to improve his qualifications and had
recently sat and passed the exams to get into CID, his goal".
"His parents were told, 'James was exactly
the sort of person we wanted'," he said.
"People speak of his good manners, his
endless acts of kindness, and his able mind. His colleagues
speak of his willingness and enthusiasm for his work. His family
speak of his utter loveliness as a son and brother. I share your
admiration of James, and with the many gathered here today,
offer thanks to God for the privilege of knowing him throughout
my time here, and the joy of seeing a young man living life to
the full with love and respect for God, for his parents, and for
his many friends."
Constable Magee is survived by his mother and
father, Freda and Bawn, his twin sister, Sarah and his younger
PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde, and ACC
for Rural region Judith Gillespie were among senior police
members who attended the funeral along with local politicians.