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Hundreds pay tribute as popular young man found dead in bed on Christmas Eve laid to rest

By Cate McCurry

Published 29/12/2015

Sudden death: Mark McGarvey
Sudden death: Mark McGarvey

Tributes have poured in for a young Co Tyrone man found dead in bed on Christmas Eve.

Mark McGarvey was buried yesterday as hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of the popular 26-year-old.

Police said Mark's death in the Moneymore area is not being treated as suspicious.

The death of the former Cookstown High School pupil has devastated his family with many taking to social media to pay tribute to the man described as the "life and soul" of every party.

His father George McGarvey posted on Facebook on Christmas Eve that his youngest son had passed away in his sleep and revealed that he had been in "good enough health".

A post mortem examination was carried out on Saturday, December 26.

"It's with a heavy heart that I'm informing my friends and family that our youngest son, Mark passed away in his sleep early this morning," he said.

"Mark had been in good enough health, and the suddenness of his death is even more difficult to deal with."

He went on to say that the hundreds of "kind messages" had been a great source of comfort to the family.

Many of Mark's friends and family posted accolades while remembering him as being "one in a million".

One friend wrote: "To say goodbye to a friend like you is beyond hard. You were one of a kind, the life and soul of any room you entered, but most of all you where a caring and thoughtful person, and you'll be missed by so many."

Another friend wrote: "It was a real shock. So, so sorry to hear this and especially at this time of the year. You're such a close and loving family. I can't imagine what you are going through."

UUP councillor Trevor Wilson, who knows the McGarvey family well, said Mark was very popular and liked in the area.

He said Mark was at his parents' home outside Moneymore when he was discovered in bed on Thursday morning.

Mr Wilson said: "He was well known and liked in the Cookstown area, a young person and a tragic loss of life.

"My thoughts and prayers are with his mother and father and his entire family circle at this sad time.

"It is difficult for the family and wider community when such a tragedy like this happens. I want to extend my sympathies to them all at this time. It is even more poignant when it happens at Christmas."

The family asked for donations to be made in lieu to the Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke Association.

A service was held at his parents' home and he was buried in Cookstown Cemetery.

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