Funeral for victim of helicopter crash

Published Sunday, 23 March 2014
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The funeral has taken place of Declan Small, one of the men killed when a helicopter travelling to Northern Ireland crashed in England earlier this month.

Funeral for victim of helicopter crash
Family and friends follow Mr Small's coffin. (© Presseye)

Mr Small, who was from Mayobridge in Co Down, died along with three other men including renowned Newry entrepreneur and peer Edward Haughey, Lord Ballyedmond.

Hundreds of people including his mother Margaret, three brothers Michael, Shane and Anraí, and partner Bernie - and the widow of Lord Ballyedmond - all attended the funeral service for the 42-year-old at St Patrick's Church in his hometown on Sunday afternoon.

A lone piper led the funeral procession as it made its way to the church where the mass was said by parish priest Father Charlie Byrne.

Paying tribute, Father Byrne said he knew that Declan's death had brought "devastating shock" to his small family and to the people of Mayobridge.

He has died too suddenly, too soon, but it is a tragedy that has allowed us to see the remarkable impact which Declan has made on those in his life.

Father Charlie Byrne

He continued: "Declan was a very skilled craftsman and always took great pride and joy in his work. He was highly respected and very well thought of by all who worked with him and often was fondly referred to as Lord Ballyedmond's right hand man.

"When death comes to someone young and under tragic circumstances as Declan's has, it robs us of not only what we possess but of our hopes and dreams, so many plans, so many expectations can be no more. No mother expects to bury her child no matter what the age.

"We remember in our prayer too Lord Ballyedmond's family and the families of the two pilots Carl Dickerson and Lee Hoyle. May the Lord be a strength and comfort to them all. We pray now that Declan is in the company of God, the giver of life, along with his father Joe and all who have gone before him. May Declan rest in peace."

Mr Small's remains were interred in the adjoining cemetery following the service.

Meanwhile investigations are continuing into the cause of the crash, which happened close to Edward Haughey's estate in Norfolk on the evening of 13 March.

The funeral of Lord Ballyedmond will take place on Monday.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Allan harron in limavady wrote (312 days ago):
our prayers and thoughts are with all the families after this tragic accident
Colm in Mayobridge wrote (313 days ago):
One of life's true Gentlemen! RIP Declan
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