Hundreds of mourners attended the Requiem Mass of 30 year-old Derry man, Michael Stewart, in St Eugene’s Cathedral yesterday morning.
The father-of-one was originally from the Brandywell area of the city, but moved with his family to Inishowen several years ago.
He died after a fall on the Channel Island of Jersey where he had been living for the last five years.
Fr Daniel McFaul, who concelebrated the Requiem Mass with Fr John Farren, described the Derry man as someone who “enjoyed life and lived it to the full.”
“He was a bit of an action man, a character loving the wilder side of life - from horse riding to sky diving, to abseiling, he was into everything. He was the magnet in any company, drawing people to him, with his loud voice and hearty laugh,” Fr McFaul said.
He also praised the 30 year-old’s devotion to this faith. “He was a man of faith, brought up in a strong Catholic tradition, he lived his faith, he liked to attend Mass, he was a Catholic and that’s what we Catholics do. He attended Mass on Saturday evenings, saying his prayers, visiting Our Lady’s house in Turkey, placing his petitions, praying for Jennie and the entire family and indeed no doubt the whole population of Derry and Jersey,” he explained.
Fr McFaul also spoke of Michael’s love for his daughter, Jennie, and partner, Christine. “He had a massive heart that had you, Jennie, as its main tenant, he doted on you, so, so much, family meant everything to him. He loved coming home to Derry, bringing Christine home, he was proud of his roots,” he said.
A group of people from Jersey travelled to Derry for the funeral and were welcomed by Fr McFaul. “He loved people, looking out for people was his thing, the Irish Daddy of Jersey. He lived “love thy neighbour” sorting people out for places to stay, work, taking anybody under his wing. He could make the best Derry Chinese, with orders for dragon brand and Doherty’s mince regularly coming in from Derry,” he said.
Michael Stewart was laid to rest in the City Cemetery following the Mass.