A TRAGIC accident took the life of Co. Cavan native Shane McEvoy, known to his friends as "Spongie," on Wednesday, May 28 while he was installing an air conditioning unit at 160 West 65th Street in Manhattan.According to a police report, McEvoy, who hails from Annaglough, fell approximately 35 feet from the top of an air conditioning unit at 1:30 p.m. McEvoy was not wearing a safety harness at the time of the accident. The Cavan man was transported to Roosevelt Hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.McEvoy, who lived in Woodlawn in the Bronx, was well known and beloved in the community. Friends of the 26-year-old spoke very highly of him. He was a regular at Behan's Bar on Katonah Avenue. It was there he celebrated his birthdays, St. Patrick's Day and New Year's Eve.It was also in Behan's that McEvoy was constantly telling bartender Sharon Fitzpatrick that she had a crush on him. "Since the day he got here he would be telling people that I had a crush on him and that he had to turn me down," Fitzpatrick told the Irish Voice on Tuesday. "He will be sadly missed by all of our staff here at Behan's and of course all his friends." If lucky enough, one might have caught McEvoy's spectacular piano playing late into the night at the bar, and although Behan's doesn't have a piano, McEvoy would improvise and use the table as his instrument. "He was just brilliant," remembers Fitzpatrick fondly.Behan's owner John Creegan couldn't praise McEvoy enough. "He was a fine young man. A real gentleman," he said.McEvoy came to the U.S. with his best friend Michael Keogh, or "Freddy" to his friends, in 2006. The pair found lodgings together and shared many a happy time in New York. Tom Cahill, another Cavan native, who knew McEvoy from his trips home to Ireland, told the Irish Voice that Spongie was a "great outgoing fella" and always enjoyed having fun.McEvoy, who had a keen interest in motorbikes and enjoyed watching the Cavan team play in Gaelic Park at weekends, worked with PNL Construction for several months. His body was taken to a funeral home in Bergen County, New Jersey on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, on route to JFK Airport, the funeral home stopped by McEvoy's home in Woodlawn to pick up his clothes.More importantly, McEvoy's friends had an opportunity to pray and say their goodbyes to their beloved friend. "All the patrons of Behan's got a chance to pay their respects," said Creegan.A mass was said for McEvoy at 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 1 in St. Barnabas Church in Woodlawn. According to Creegan, "a large gathering of friends" showed up to say pray for their dear friend.McEvoy was buried on Monday, June 2 at St. Bridget's Cemetery in Killygarry. His family have asked for donations to be made to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, c/o Finnegan's Funeral Home, Cavan.McEvoy is survived by his parents John and Marie, and his brothers Paul, Michael and Aiden and sisters Maria and Laura.
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