In shock, devastated friends gathered to help a heartbroken family in their grief, a minister told hundreds attending the funeral of the late Barrie Meneely.
Mr Meneely, who lived in Lurgan, died in a tragic motorcycle crash near Loughgall on Friday.
At his funeral in St Elizabeth’s Church, Moygashel, Archdeacon Forster said: “We gather here as people in shock, as friends who are devastated, to surround a family who are heartbroken.
“None of us will ever forget hearing the dreadful news of Barrie’s death and the awful pain and devastation that that new brought to Emma, Alex, Charlotte and Alfie, to Johnnie, Noeleen and Toni.
“The hundreds of people who are here want you to know that we care for you deeply at this dreadful time. We want to give you all the support that we can as you begin to come to terms with this terrible tragedy.
“We grieve together, grief is that indescribable pain that comes from having to let go. Often the more tragic and sudden the death the greater the grief because we are not ready to let go. That grief is so poignant because Barrie had so much of his life to live; he had given so much love and care to his family; had brought humour and fun and friendship wherever he went, and there would have been so much more if it was not for this tragedy.
“We also celebrate Barrie and everything about him that we value. There is much to celebrate because Barrie made the world a happier place - he was a big personality with a big heart. He could light up a room and bring a smile and laughter to any situation. At the very heart of this man was his love for his family.”
Earlier his colleagues at the Craigavon headquarters of the Southern Health Trust where Barrie worked for many years said he was a man for whom nothing was too much trouble.
A spokesperson from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said: “On behalf of all of his friends and colleagues throughout the Trust, we extend our heartfelt sympathies to Barrie’s wife, children, parents, sister and wider family circle.
“Barrie was a much loved member of our Informatics Team and managed some of our biggest IT projects.
“Nothing was ever too much trouble for Barrie, he always had a smile on his face and enjoyed a bit of banter.
“We are all deeply saddened by his tragic and untimely passing and he will be greatly missed.”
An avid Dungannon Swifts fan, the club issued a moving tribute to their friend Barrie, saying that they were all ‘utterly devastated’ at the news of his sudden passing.
Mr Barrie Johnston Meneely, late of The Hollows, Lurgan was the loving husband of Emma, devoted daddy of Alex, Charlotte and Alfie, son of Johnny and Noeleen and brother of Toni.
His funeral service was followed by interment in Cottagequinn Cemetery, Dungannon.
Police spokesman Sergeant Nick Browne said: “The collision, involving a motor cycle, occurred at around 10:25am at the junction of the Lissheffield Road and Red Lion Road in Loughgall.
“The 44 year old male driver of the bike, who was from the local area, died as a result of his injuries sustained in the collision. The Lissheffield Road and Red Lion Road in Loughgall were closed for a period.
“I am appealing to anyone was travelling on the Lissheffield Road at its junction with Red Lion Road around this time, or drivers who have a dash cam fitted to their vehicle, to check their footage, to contact police in Lurgan on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 365 of 09/03/18.”