Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Clergyman buried just days after his wedding

Mourners bid a tearful farewell to a clergyman who died just three days after his wedding.

The Reverend Alan William Matchett was yesterday buried adjacent to the church where he had celebrated his marriage just last week.

Hundreds of people packed the historic Knockbride Church near Bailieborough, Co Cavan, to pay their final respects to the popular Co Antrim man.

Just last Tuesday the 40-year-old celebrated his marriage to Lisa Middleton (24).

The couple met and fell in love when Alan was based in Co Cavan as the rector of Bailieborough.

Mrs Matchett was yesterday comforted by family and friends as well as by Alan's mother Joan and brother Gary.

He was predeceased by his father, William.

Many of the mourners were the wedding guests on the happiest day of the couple's lives last Tuesday.

There was an air of disbelief that tragedy had so suddenly come upon the happy couple as they looked forward to the rest of their lives together.

“Only last week, they were married here and it was a lovely ceremony,” said one local man.

“They were so happy and everyone was so happy for them. Less than a week on, Alan is being buried here.''

Tragedy struck when Mr Matchett, who most recently served as the rector of St Nicholas in Adare, Co Limerick, died last Friday after being taken ill with chest pains.

A gifted organist and a man of great character and humour, Mr Matchett was warmly regarded by all who knew him.

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