Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Anguished farewell to Thailand fall student Stephen Clifford

The funeral of Stephen Clifford takes place at The Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in Carryduff, Co Down.  The 21-year-old died after falling through a shopping complex roof in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Picture by Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
The funeral of Stephen Clifford takes place at The Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in Carryduff, Co Down. The 21-year-old died after falling through a shopping complex roof in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Picture by Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
21-year-old student Stephen Clifford, from Carryduff, who died after falling through the roof of a shopping mall in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
21-year-old student Stephen Clifford, from Carryduff, who died after falling through the roof of a shopping mall in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The funeral of Stephen Clifford takes place at The Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in Carryduff, Co Down.  The 21-year-old died after falling through a shopping complex roof in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Picture by Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
The funeral of Stephen Clifford takes place at The Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in Carryduff, Co Down. The 21-year-old died after falling through a shopping complex roof in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Picture by Mark Marlow/pacemaker press

A student who died after a tragic accident on holiday in Thailand has been buried at home in Northern Ireland.

Stephen Clifford died instantly after falling through a roof in the city of Chiang Mai last Sunday evening.

The 21-year-old's Requiem Mass took place at the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Carryduff yesterday after his remains were brought home from Thailand by his family on Friday.

Stephen's distraught father Rory, mother Kate, sister Sian and brother Rory were supported by large numbers of family and friends at the well attended service, which was officiated by Father Martin Kelly.

Interment followed at the adjoining cemetery.

Stephen was crossing the rooftop of the Kad Suan Kaew shopping mall when it gave way and he fell through, hitting electrical machinery below.

He had only been in Thailand for a couple of days before the fatal accident.

Warm tributes have poured in throughout the week for the popular Belfast Metropolitan College student, who was described as an "absolute gentleman" by family and friends.

Stephen had been employed at Queen's University Students' Union and who had also been a presenter for Blast106/Blast Xtra radio station.

Last week his family rejected Thai media reports that suggested Stephen had been drunk and involved in an argument with a female friend at 5am.

His mother dismissed the reports. "That is not my Stephen," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

"He was not drunk, and there was no girl."

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