Belfast Telegraph

Outpouring of grief at sudden death of Holy Cross Church organist

By Cate McCurry

Hundreds of tributes have been paid to a talented musician who has died suddenly, and who is remembered for bringing "great joy to those who knew him".

Mark Mooney was found dead at his home in Belfast on Sunday.

Understood to be aged in his late 30s, he was the organist and director of music at Holy Cross Parish Church in Belfast.

His sudden and untimely death has prompted floods of tributes from family and friends.

A representative from the Holy Cross Church Choir was among those to pay tribute.

"The members of Holy Cross Church Choir deeply regret the sudden death of their friend and choirmaster, Mark," they said.

"Mark was a kind young man who used his musical talent for others.

"His conducting, singing and playing of the organ, piano, guitar and harp brought great joy to those who knew him.

"We will really miss him. We extend our sincere sympathy to his family and friends."

Representatives of Holy Cross Girls' Primary School added their condolences, saying: "On behalf of the Board of Governors, staff and children of Holy Cross Girls' Primary School we extend our sympathies to the family of our friend Mark. His enthusiasm and dedication to the children and the school will be sadly missed."

Mark was also leader of Holy Family folk group.

In a statement posted on the Down and Connor folk group Facebook page, they said: "We are deeply saddened at the news of the death of Mark Mooney - leader of Holy Family folk group.

"Mark attended many of our folk weekends. He contributed a great deal to music ministry in our diocese in a variety of different ways. Our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers are with Mark's family and friends at this very sad time."

Mark also took part in a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, with a local group a number of years ago.

He was praised for his musical talent and contribution to the Down and Connor diocese.

Many of the popular man's friends took to social media to post their own heartfelt tributes. One friend posted a video of Mark recently playing the harp and wrote: "Devastated to have lost Mark, our folk group leader and friend.

"One of the most encouraging people I have ever had the pleasure to know."

He is survived by his partner Darren, parents Mary and Sean, and brothers Daniel, Gerald, Ciaran and the late Peter.

His funeral will take place today at Holy Family Church at 2pm followed by burial at St Colman's Cemetery, Massforth, Kilkeel.

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