‘Declan’s life has been cut short, he died too suddenly, too soon’
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
THE Mayobridge man killed in a helicopter crash in England was in the process of building a new home for him and his girlfriend, mourners were told at his funeral.
Hundreds of people attended Declan Small's funeral mass at St Patrick's Church in Mayobridge on Sunday.
Parish Priest, Charlie Byrne, said the 42-year-old's death brought "devastating shock" to his family and the entire Mayobridge community.
Mr Small was one of four people killed when the helicopter they were travelling in crashed shortly after leaving the grounds of Lord Ballyedmond's estate near Gillingham, Norfolk, almost two weeks ago.
Mourners heard how Mr Small was a man of deep faith and a skilled craftsman who took great pride in his joy and work and how he was using these skills to build a house beside the family home for him and his girlfriend.
“Declan was well known for his love of family, love of life and steadfast faith," said Fr Byrne in his homily.
“He was much loved by his many friends and was renowned for his quick wit, always game for a laugh.
“This past few years Declan has been building a new house for himself beside the family home. He was looking forward to soon having it completed and had found happiness with his girlfriend Bernie."
Fr Byrne said Mr Small loved sport and was a member of Mayobridge Golf Club and the local darts team, as well as a keen supporter of the village GAA club.
He said he started working for Dr Haughey seven years ago, becoming Lord Ballyedmond's trusted foreman, spending a lot of his time working in the Norbrook owner's overseas properties.
He added: "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."
Fr Byrne added that Mr Small was a man of faith and prayed that he was "now in the company of God" along with his father, Joe.
“Declan's Miraculous Medal that he wore, the Rosary Beads that he carried with him, and the statue of Saint Joseph the Worker that he placed in the house which he was building, capture elements of a faith instilled in him by his parents Margaret and Joe. It is part of Declan's life that brings comfort to us now," he said.
“Declan's life has been cut short. 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."
Following the service, Mr Small was buried in the adjoining cemetery.
He is survived by his mother Margaret, and brothers Michael, Shane and Anrai.
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