Belfast Telegraph

Tributes paid to popular martial arts fan

BY AMANDA FERGUSON

Darren McBrearty was an active person with a busy social life and passion for martial arts.

Close to family and friends, the 28-year-old from Gortmore Park in Omagh was a former pupil of Sacred Heart College and had studied at Liverpool John Moores University.

A fan of music, hurling and Celtic FC, his love of taekwondo and ju-jitsu was evident in his online posts.

On August 1, just days before his untimely death, he wrote on Facebook: "Great to be back doin some ground fighting at ju jitsu tonite can't wait to get up the belts at it too!" Earlier, Mr McBrearty had enthused about his training.

"Tough tryin to get bk into training after 2/3 weeks off!" he had written. "Flatout now til the Scottish championships for some medals."

Another post supporting his friends added: "Good luck to all who's grading today Omagh TaeKwonDo, Craigavon TaeKwonDo, Cookstown TaeKwonDo, Dungannon TaeKwonDo."

In tribute, Omagh TaeKwonDo has used his photo as its Facebook profile picture, and elsewhere on the social media site his cousin Aiden Skelton posted a heartfelt message.

Mr Skelton wrote: "Darren, your memory will live on through all your friends and your family.

"I never thought you would go but now we have another guardian angel watching over us.

"You're an absolute legend who was taken before his time.

"You will not be forgotten.

"All of your friends and our family cannot believe your gone. Rest in peace."

It was claimed in court yesterday that Mr McBrearty died in a 'one punch' incident.

The PSNI had previously launched a poster campaign aimed at bringing down the number of deaths by one-punch attacks.

Targeted at men aged 18-25, it highlighted the risks of getting involved in an argument or fight which could lead to serious injury or death.

The police say the majority of such incidents were fuelled by alcohol.

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