Jack McKitterick: Hundreds attend funeral for tragic 25-year-old who was 'selfless, kind and generous' and 'always showed up when he was needed'

The packed funeral service today for young Jack McKitterick heard how mourners should not think God has abandoned them but ‘is there in the hundreds of people who have texted, visited and messaged’.
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Jack McKitterick, 25, from Antrim died on March 16 in hospital after suffering a Brain aneurysm.

Mourners at his funeral today at 2pm in All Saints Parish Church in Antrim led by The Venerable Dr. Stephen McBride and joined by Father James O’Reilly from the Parish of Antrim heard that: “Today one of the questions on all our minds is why did it happen?

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"In trying to make sense of what has happened, it is only natural that we may feel in some way betrayed by God.

"We are not alone in feeling this way and all through the ages people have cried out to God: ‘Why have you allowed this to happen?’ or even more directly: “‘Why have you allowed this to happen to us?’”

Rev McBride added that the ‘Christian faith doesn’t nor should it sidestep difficult questions, especially when we have to deal with the pain and unfairness of an untimely and tragic death’.

“Jack’s death was not part of some grand plan, it was not God’s will,” continued Rev McBride.

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"Life can be terribly cruel and when it is, and we ask where was God in all of this mess?

"God is there in the faces of family and friends and neighbours and people we didn’t know who have shared their love and concern.

"God’s face is there in the paramedics who came to the house and for the hospital staff who did their very best for Jack and his family,” he added.

Reflecting on Jack’s personality Rev McBride said: “As I said to the News Letter Journalist on Monday, when a young person dies we seek to paint them in the best light possible, but in Jack’s case, we do not have to come up with any photoshopped or filtered images because as you all know he was just one of the best.

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"He loved life and he loved his football, playing fin the midfield for Moylena FC with his brother Thomas.

Rev McBride and Father James O'Reilly leading the funeral of Jack McKitterickRev McBride and Father James O'Reilly leading the funeral of Jack McKitterick
Rev McBride and Father James O'Reilly leading the funeral of Jack McKitterick

"As much as it pains Father James and me as Liverpool supporters, Jack was a big Manchester United fan and he loved getting the opportunity of getting over to seem them at Old Trafford."

Rev McBride also told mourners that “Jack carried his academic skills lightly gaining an honours degree in in Creative Technologies, a computer science based course from Magee University and was really enjoying the challenges of his post in PWC.”

The All Saints’ cleric said when he asked a friend to describe Jack he was told that “Jack was someone who was selfless, kind and generous. He was thoughtful, happy and well spoken.

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"Jack put others first above his own needs and always showed up when he was needed.”

Jack McKitterickJack McKitterick
Jack McKitterick

Addressing Jack’s heart-broken family Rev McBride said: “The qualities that shone out of Jack and the person he was were moulded and shaped within the love of his family where I can’t begin to describe the depths of the bonds of love between Jack and his mum and dad Bronagh and Simon, Jack and his grandparents Bill and Dee and John, Malachy and Nuala – and the love between Jack and Thomas who were more like twins than brothers.

"All of us reach out to you today with out love and support, which is more than we can put into words.”

Earlier Rev McBride from the Parish of All-Saints in Antrim told the News Letter that as Jack’s death happened “around mother’s day there is a heightened sense of grief”.

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"It is against the natural order for a mum and dad to be burying a child no matter what age that child is,” he added.

"It is an occasion when words fail us but we know that Jack’s calibre was that around 1,000 people posted messages of sympathy on Facebook.”

Rev McBride said the McKitterick family “have been helped in their grief by the knowledge that people thought so highly of their son”.

All Saints Church funeral for Jack McKitterickAll Saints Church funeral for Jack McKitterick
All Saints Church funeral for Jack McKitterick

Rev McBride added that it had been Jack’s birthday after he died.

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On social media after his brother Jack’s death Thomas McKitterick told of his grief.

In an online tribute Thomas said: “It kills me to say this but my loving brother Jack suffered a Brain aneurysm and after a lot of fighting like only Jack can do us as a family had the worst day we will have in our lives having to say goodbye to Jack as he passed away on Thursday 16th of March at 11:20am. "

He adds: “My brother was and always will be the most important person in my life and someone i am so proud to call my brother, he’s taught me everything I have ever done in my life and he give me memories I will cherish every day of my life.

"Jack was the most gorgeous person inside and out who was loved by so many and will continue to be loved by everyone who ever laid eyes on him.

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"The most funny and charismatic person I’ve ever met who made me laugh every single day with his wonderful humour we shared together.

"Jack I will love and continue loving you every day and you will never be out of my thoughts.”

Social media has been inundated with messages of sympathy from those who knew Jack, including Antrim Rovers FC who said: “Everyone at Antrim Rovers is saddened to hear of the passing of ex youth player Jack McKitterick.

"A minute silence was observed at our senior Swifts game today to pay our respects.

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"Thoughts and prayers are with the McKitterick family and extended family circle at this hard time.”

Other messages include: Darren Mailey Personal Training who said – ‘Such sad news hearing this morning the passing of young Jack Mckitterick

‘From myself and all of the gym we are thinking of all the family Circle and friends from the gym

‘Sending our deepest sympathy to you all …’

Antrim Eagles FC: ‘Everyone at Antrim Eagles FC are deeply saddened by the terrible news about the passing of former player Jack McKitterick.

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‘Our thoughts are with Simon, Bronagh, Thomas and the wider family circle at this very difficult time’

CK Barbers: ‘It’s with an extremely heavy heart that I have to write this

‘It’s been absolutely heartbreaking to hear the news of the passing of a good friend of mine, Jack mckitterick

‘Jack has been getting his hair cut with me for many years now and he became a very good friend of mine. Jack had the biggest heart and you would struggle to find a nicer person in this world than jack. He would have done absolutely anything for you and no matter what, he was always smiling and creating a good atmosphere in the shop.

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‘All our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of jack at this very difficult time

‘If anyone would like to attend jacks funeral it will be on Wednesday 22nd of March 2:00pm at All Saints Parish church, Antrim

‘Rest easy Jack you will be missed mate’

Friend Joe Webb said: ‘One of the hardest things I’ve had to do is say goodbye to my best friend, Jack.

‘Sadly the worst things in life come to the best people. Privileged to of had a friend like you, a proper gentleman and a credit to his family, God only takes the best. Happy birthday to you, love you lots

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‘Appreciate & Hug them family and friends of yours tighter than usual cause in a blink of an eye it can all change, Read that again.’

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