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Hundreds in tribute to Northern Ireland runner who died suddenly in New York

Cate McCurry

Published 30/09/2013

Runner: Patrick Friel-Curran
Runner: Patrick Friel-Curran

The family of a young Northern Irish man who died suddenly in New York last week have paid a special tribute at his funeral to the hundreds of people who helped bring the 23-year-old's body home.

Over a thousand mourners packed out the Holy Family Church in Ballymagroarty for yesterday's requiem mass for Patrick Friel-Curran.

The young man died in a Brooklyn Hospital last Tuesday after taking ill the previous Sunday – his father, Damien, by his side.

His tragic death prompted a major fundraising campaign to help his family meet the costs of bringing his remains home.

After an "overwhelming" response from the people in the city, his body arrived back on Friday.

Patrick is mourned by his mother Linda, father Damien and siblings Damian, Kyle, Daryl, Samara and Rebecca, as well as step-siblings Michael and Cathy.

Father Christopher Ferguson, who lead the funeral mass, said Patrick had plenty to live for and was pursuing his dreams.

He said: "Patrick was regarded as a great friend and was known for having plenty of energy.

"He recently finished his degree in psychology and wanted to open a bar in New York.

"His family were amazed by the generosity and support by the local community.

"His family described him as a great person. He was involved in running and recently completed two marathons."

A fundraising event was also organised in a New York bar by one of Patrick's close friends.

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From Belfast Telegraph