Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Bride pays tribute to shark victim

Gemma Redmond arrives with her parents David and Coleta Houghton for the funeral of her husband Ian
Ian Redmond was killed in a shark attack in the Seychelles

The widow of honeymoon shark victim Ian Redmond has told mourners she would live with her husband "in my heart" in the dream home he tirelessly renovated for their future.

Primary school teacher Gemma Redmond, 27, moved into the Grade II Listed cottage with the IT specialist immediately after their wedding night earlier this month.

Around 500 people who attended his funeral in Dalton, Lancashire, heard how Mr Redmond, 30, threw himself into refurbishing the shell of a building into a complete home which they were due to return to following their break in the Seychelles.

Their hopes were dashed just 10 days after the ceremony when Mr Redmond was savaged by a shark as he swam off Anse Lazio beach on Praslin, the second largest island in the archipelago.

The 30-year-old was quickly brought to shore where a French surgeon, also on holiday, gave first aid on the beach as his new wife looked on. But Mr Redmond, formerly from Nelson, Lancashire, had lost too much blood due to the massive injuries suffered in the attack on August 16.

Their dream home in Roby Mill, Skelmersdale, was described at the service as a "magnificent testimonial" to Mr Redmond's hard work and vision "which will stand the test of time".

Mrs Redmond vowed to finish the transformation of the cottage as she composed herself to read out a lengthy, heartfelt open letter to "my darling husband Ian".

Paying tribute in her local family church of St Michael & All Angels - the same church where they wed - Mrs Redmond said: "I remember the exciting times that we spent working on our new home together - painting, lifting flagstones, demolishing porches, designing rooms, any skill that you put your mind to you achieved.

"You were just so intelligent with a great eye for detail. Your dedication to make our home special and right and comfortable for us knew no bounds. I want to thank you for working tirelessly on our perfect home. I promise I will finish it for us and live there with you in my heart."

The service, officiated by the Rev Tim Barton, heard how the couple commenced the search for their dream home immediately after they were engaged on Christmas Eve 2009 when Mr Redmond knelt on the doorstep of her family home in Dalton and proposed with a single red rose, a bottle of champagne and a giant engagement ring built from wire and tinsel.

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