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Village mourns again as loving dad Darren Taylor is buried

By Allan Preston

Published 26/11/2016

Mourners at the funeral of Darren Taylor in Coagh
Mourners at the funeral of Darren Taylor in Coagh
Darren Taylor

A sombre mood fell over the village of Coagh yesterday for the funeral of Darren Taylor, the second person to die in a drug-related incident in the area within a month.

Mr Taylor, who was in his 30s, was discovered dead in a flat in the Co Tyrone village on Monday, just weeks after Amy Reid (21) also died after she was believed to have taken drugs at a house party.

Mr Taylor's death is the second tragedy for his family; his father, James, a civil servant who worked as a water surveyor, was on a duck-hunting trip in 1978 when he was shot dead by the SAS.

The undercover soldiers, who were not charged over the killing, had said they mistakenly believed him to be a terrorist.

Darren Taylor's funeral service began at his mother Margaret's home in Magherafelt, before continuing on to Coagh Presbyterian Church with burial in the adjoining church yard.

A death notice from his family described him as "darling son of the late Jim, brother of Jason, daddy to Sheree."

Earlier in the afternoon the funeral had taken place in Belfast of 23-year-old Jamie Burns, who died after allegedly taking ecstasy on a night out.

UUP councillor Mark Glasgow knew Mr Taylor's family.

"They are devastated, like any family who loses a loved one," he said.

"At this time they need the comfort of family and their friends around them to grieve this tragic loss," Mr Glasgow continued.

"I was told he was a devoted father and a good family member. He will be greatly missed by them."

Ulster Unionist councillor for Cookstown, Trevor Wilson, said local residents were still reeling from the two deaths. He said, "I have to say the village of Coagh is a very sombre place today.

"To have two deaths of relatively young people over the last month is a big shock and tragic circumstances for both of them."

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