Mourners hear ‘Paddy’s light still shines’

The remains of Patrick Friel Curran are brought to Holy Family Church for requiem mass on Sunday morning. (DER4013PG057)
The remains of Patrick Friel Curran are brought to Holy Family Church for requiem mass on Sunday morning. (DER4013PG057)

Mourners at the funeral of the 23 year old Derry man who died after taking ill in New York were told that his “light still shines and his voice is still heard every time we share our memories, when we have a laugh or we go the extra mile for others.”

Patrick (Paddy) Friel Curran died in New York last Tuesday following a short and unexpected illness.

The Ballymagroarty man, who graduated recently from the University of Ulster at Magee with a degree in Psychology had moved to New York in the summer to make a better life for himself.

His death sparked a massive city-wide fundraising effort to bring his remains home - and that outpouring of grief and support was evident at the large attendance at his Requiem Mass at the Holy Family church.

In his homily Fr. Christopher Ferguson described the barman and keen runner as “a friend was always there when you needed him” adding he “often went about helping others quietly and without fuss”.

Fr. Ferguson told mourners: “What also marked Paddy out was his generosity; he often put others before himself.

Paddy was very family orientated, protective of his brothers and sisters who looked up to him and admired him as their older brother.

“Paddy was the one who could inspire others through his selflessness and he was the person who wasn’t afraid to say or do what had to be done keep others in line.

“He was a live wire who loved life and enjoyed being around people.”

It was revealed that Paddy’s family hope to open a school in India in his memory using the money raised throughout the city in his honour.

Fr. Ferguson said: “The response of the people of Derry over these last few days stands as a witness and a testimony to the high regard and esteem in which Paddy was held.

“Paddy’s family have been overwhelmed by the support and generosity they have encountered from the people of the town.”