A 32-year-old man is due to appear in Craigavon Magistrates Court today charged with the murder of pro-boxer Eamonn Magee Junior.
The victim (22) was stabbed in the garden of his girlfriend’s house in the early hours of Saturday morning after he went out to check on the arrival of a pizza the couple had ordered.
Eamonn Jnr, a student of engineering at Ulster University, is the son of the former WBU welterweight champion Eamonn Magee Senior. His mum, Mary, speaking this morning in the family home at Hannahstown Hill adjacent to Lamh Dhearg GAC, said her son was “a gorgeous child to rear”.
“I never had any trouble with him,” she added, “never at school, nothing. He was always into sport from he was no age. Once he got his driver’s licence he was away, that was it. Me and him were always fighting over the car. He’d take it and say ‘I’ll be back in ten minutes, mum,’ and sure that would be him all day. He’d ring me all the time asking if I wanted or needed anything. If I told him I needed shopping done he’d go straight to Asda and do all my shopping for me. He did everything for me.”
Mary said Eamonn Jnr was always very particular about his appearance and was very close to his brother and sister.
“He used to come home from university and take a shower before he went training. I’d say to him, ‘Eamonn, you’re supposed to take a shower after you train.’ He was preparing to run the Lisburn Half-Marathon for Tiny Life. If he wasn’t doing his own boxing training he’d train other people.
“He was a brilliant brother to his sister Áine Máire and his brother Francis, who’s in Belgium. He adored his two-year-old Godson Cormac and would have done anything for anybody – that was just the type of him.”
Eamonn Magee Snr said simply of his son: “It was a pleasure for him to be mine”.
“There’s not a person in this world who can say a bad word about him,” he went on. “If you take a look at social media, Facebook, Twitter, there are thousands upon thousands of tributes for him and there are only good words. As a father I don’t think I had to chastise him once growing up. He was following in my footsteps, he was into the boxing from when he around eight and going into the second year of his degree. It was all going on for him. He was just an innocent boy who went out to collect a pizza.”
As the Magee family wait for Eamonn Jnr’s body to be returned to the family home today, Mary spoke of how her son’s First Communion rosary beads, a 21st birthday badge and a framed photo of the young boxer with his Godson Cormac will be placed in the coffin.
“He made me and all his family very proud,” she said. “He was such a lovely lad. We are all just devastated.”
A vigil for Eamonn Magee Jnr will be held tonight (Tuesday) at 8pm in Summerhill Park.