Belfast Telegraph

Tributes to 'wonderful' Aaron O'Neil who died five weeks after cancer diagnosis

'His laugh was infectious, his smile always there'

Tributes have been paid to a 29-year-old Belfast man who died just five weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.

Aaron O'Neill passed away on Monday in the Somerton Road hospice in north Belfast. His brother-in-law Jim Forbes paid tribute to him calling him "the nicest guy you could ever meet".

He said Aaron had felt unwell since February but his stomach pains worsened five weeks ago.

Mr Forbes told the Irish News: "Within 48 hours they told him it was cancer and there was nothing they could do.

"He coped with his illness very well and was talking away right up until the end. He mother was by his bedside, she moved slightly and in that moment he just slipped away. He was born at 5.45am on a Monday and died at 5.45pm on a Monday."

The young man was an employee of Yellowmoon production company in Holywood. The sound dubbing mixer worked on TV projects including The Fall, Line of Duty and Game of Thrones.

UTV journalist Mark McFadden worked alongside with him.

Taking to Twitter after requiem mass to celebrate his life, the broadcaster described him as being a "privilege to work with".

"Said farewell today to a wonderful human being: Aaron O'Neill. Talented, stylish, funny, kind. A joy to work with, a privilege to know."

He added: "I had the privilege of working with Aaron on several projects. Superb, professional, charming, big-hearted."

Paying tribute Yellowmoon said it was with "great sadness" they mourn the loss of their friend and colleague.

He joined the company in 2012 as a sound assistant after completing a masters degree in Sonic Arts. He was then promoted to Dubbing Mixer and began work on documentary drama and feature films.

In a statement Yellowmoon said: "His warmth, humour, generosity and professionalism made him a favourite with clients and co-workers alike. His easy going nature, always a calming force in the dubbing suite, in times of stress and pressure. He loved cars, clothes and terrible movies.

"He would often profess Noel Gallagher a poet and Michael Bay a visionary genius, all whilst sipping on a Strawberry Daiquiri. His laugh was infectious, his smile always there. He was part of the Yellowmoon family, one of us. Taken too soon. Always missed. May he rest in peace. May the force be with him always."

Yellowmoon founder Greg Darby said: "He had had an instinct for working in sound - and his attention to detail was legendary. In my 25 years of running a production company I have never met a talent like him.

"He was incredibly quick-witted and had a very sharp mind, he could have done anything he wanted to do. He was also a tremendous musician and played the piano. He was an inspiration."

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