Tributes to much-loved father from Halifax Martin McDonagh

Tributes have been paid to a much-loved Halifax man “with a heart of gold”.
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Martin McDonagh, from Ovenden, was well known in Halifax and his funeral brought the town to a standstill when hundreds turned out to pay their last respects.

“He had a big personality and was so well loved,” said his family. “He was a such a big family man and loved his friends.”

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The 31-year-old, who was a beloved father to nine-year-old Reico, grew up in Halifax and attended St Malachy’s Catholic Primary School and St Catherine's Catholic High School.

Martin McDonagh, of Ovenden in HalifaxMartin McDonagh, of Ovenden in Halifax
Martin McDonagh, of Ovenden in Halifax

Raised by his mother and auntie, he always said he had “two mums”, said his family.

He loved boxing and fitness, and trained at Everlast Gym, on Charlestown Road, and Halifax Boxing Club on Old Lane.

“He was the life and soul of the party,” said his family. “He lived every day as if it was his last.”

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One of Martin’s cousin’s, Adam McDonagh, added: “My cousin Martin was more then a cousin to us all. He was one of the most humble and loyal guys you could meet.

Hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects to Martin.Hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects to Martin.
Hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects to Martin.

"He could light up any room he walked in and will definitely be lighting up the skies. He will be missed by so many.

"He was also the godfather to my little girl and will be missed by us all. He had a heart of gold."

Martin’s funeral saw St Malachy’s Church packed with people, with some even spilling out into the foyer.

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His coffin was walked around his street before joining a huge procession of more than 50 cars, including four Lamborghinis and a van with photos of Martin projected on the sides.

A song written especially for him by DJ Silky was played as the procession travelled from Ovenden, through Halifax town centre and then to Siddal Cricket Club, honking their horns for the entire journey.

It stopped briefly on Burdock Way when some of Martin’s loved ones spotted a woman in distress and jumped out to help.

Although several pubs in Halifax shut early on the night of the funeral, police have confirmed no trouble was reported.

His family said: “Martin had a good sense of humour. He’d be laughing that he brought Halifax to a standstill in the day and into lockdown in the evening.”