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In pictures: Hundreds attend funeral of tragic firefighter Nial Hamilton

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Hundreds of mourners have attended the funeral service of tragic firefighter Nial Hamilton who collapsed and died after putting out a car fire in Lurgan.

The 44-year-old from Enniskillen received full service honours during his funeral service in St Michael’s Parish Church, Trory. He was buried in the adjoining graveyard.

The father-of-two died on Monday night after collapsing at the scene at Deeny Drive in the Kilwilkee Estate.

Two fire appliances accompanied his hearse on its final journey and fire fighters formed a guard of honour as his coffin was carried into the church.

In his sermon, Rev Mark Watson, spoke of how “Nial’s family are devastated because this is a heavy blow to them”.

“Nial was big hearted fella with a good heart but unfortunately his heart was not up to keeping him alive,” said Rev Wilson.

He said that for Nial’s wife Ruth and his sons - six-year-old Alex and four-year-old Rory - “their world is in bits”.

“He was a fireman’s fireman, a fireman from 18-years and he loved the job,” said Rev Wilson. “You could see through the fact he loved his job and everybody was very, very fond of him.

“He was a bloke that if you met for ten minutes you knew for a lifetime.”

Earlier today Eric Hamilton - Nial’s father - said that he found his sons death “just unbelievable”.

“And when you look at his son’s aged six and four who no longer have a daddy, it really hits home to everybody,” he told the BBC.

“He was about 6ft, at one stage played a bit of rugby and has done an odd marathon and was physically very fit, so that is why it comes as a greater shock.”

“Ruth [his wife] is distraught and the two boys, at that age, it doesn’t sink in.

“Ruth told the oldest boy Alex on Tuesday evening, that daddy had gone to heaven and would not be coming back.

“And ten minutes later Alex said ‘daddy is not home from work yet. where is he?’ So that sort of thing hits home.”

He added that he “never expected to bury his son”. “I am a pensioner coming up to my 70th year, had a heart complaint and cancer last year and if I was to go it would sort of be expected but not a lad off 44-years-of-age,” he said.

 

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