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Ciaran Fitzsimons funeral told how his life 'was snatched away'

By Cate McCurry

Published 08/07/2016

Ciaran Fitzsimons with his wife Maurica and their children Caolan and Cuan
Ciaran Fitzsimons with his wife Maurica and their children Caolan and Cuan

The funeral of a young father-of-two who died from a heart attack has heard how the loving dad had his whole life ahead of him but it was "snatched away" in a moment.

Belfast man Ciaran Fitzsimons collapsed and died from an undiagnosed heart condition outside his family home in Poleglass in the early hours of Sunday.

The 32-year-old had been feeling unwell the previous night and had complained of what he thought was indigestion.

His wife Maurica found him lying in the pathway outside their family home when she awoke at around 6am to find he was not in bed.

Frantic efforts were made to resuscitate Ciaran but he died at the scene.

His family fulfilled his wish to donate his organs which, they said, would help give others the gift of life.

Hundreds of mourners attended Ciaran's funeral at the Church of the Nativity in Poleglass where his son Caolan (9) gave a reading.

It's understood that Ciaran and his wife of three years were sharing a pizza on Saturday night when he started to complain of chest pain, but he put it down to indigestion and went to bed.

Hours later, Maurica awoke to find he was not there and went into their younger son's bedroom to look for him.

She carried Cuan (1) down the stairs to discover the front door was open and found Ciaran lying outside their home. His devastated family were told that he had an underlying heart condition which is believed to have been undetected since his childhood.

His uncle Oliver McParland described him as charismatic, adding that even in death "he is still helping others".

"The number of people who attended his funeral was staggering, I have never seen a turnout like that - it was testament to the person he was," he said.

"People came from everywhere for the funeral.

"He was always willing to help people, he was always putting himself out there to help people, whoever it was he was there. Even in death he is still helping people because he is donating his organs, he is still touching people.

"The shockwaves are still reverberating and no one can quite believe it. He was the most approachable man you could meet."

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