Ulster X Factor star Phillip Magee has been devastated by a second suicide horror. The singer’s youngest brother David took his own life last week — just 20 months after his other brother Paul, 21, shot himself.
Popular Larne lad David — who was just 20-years-old — never got over the suicide of his older brother Paul, an RAF serviceman, who he idolised.
He had a huge tattoo on his left arm in honour of Paul and told friends his big brother was in his thoughts every day.
Car fanatic David was found hanged on Wednesday morning at a garage in Bank Road, Larne, where he had once trained as a mechanic.
Heartbroken Phillip, 25, and parents Ann and Jim have been left reeling by the death of the second of the three brothers.
It was in January 2008 that Paul Magee died from a gunshot wound to his head at RAF Aldergrove, where he worked.
David Magee wrote about Paul’s tragic death on his Bebo web page, which he had updated with new photographs just two days before his own death.
Poignantly he wrote: “You never know what is round the corner, you hear of things in the news and the paper but you would never think it would happen to you.
“My big bro is gone but never forgotten and he will always be in my thoughts every day.”
David’s funeral takes place today at St MacNissi’s Church in Larne.
Stunned friends have left a flood of messsages on David’s social network page expressing their shock and paying tribute to the much-loved young man who was known for his big smile, talent for making people laugh and his passion for cars.
Some also logged on to an Internet memorial site for Paul.
One wrote: “Paul I am just guessing that u and David weren’t meant to be apart, hope ur together at last and that he got what he wanted.
“Look after each other and remember to watch over those who are still here ...”
Another simply said: “Look after David hun xoxo.”
Young friends began leaving messages on David’s Bebo site from Wednesday onwards as news spread of the tragedy.
One wrote: “David you’ve broken my heart. Life without one Magee was hard enough but two of you?
“I can’t believe im never gonna see u again ...”
Another said: “I know this is what u wanted to be with Paul again so I’ll try not to be sad for you but happy — just a shame life had to be this way.”
Many described David, who had worked as a van driver for a bakery, as a good friend and said he would be missed more than he would know.
One girl said she wished she had done more to help, while another described David as “the nicest wee lad” and added: “I hope your in a better place up there ... look after your family, especially your mum and Phillip.”
David’s tattoo on his left arm in memory of his brother read ‘bro Paul 14.9.86 — 25.1.08’.
After Paul’s death in January last year Phillip, who made it to the final nine in the 2005 X Factor reality show won by Shayne Ward, paid tribute to his brother.
In an exclusive interview with Sunday Life he spoke of the devastating effects of losing his brother.
“Paul’s death was very unexpected. There were no tell-tale signs,” he said.
“It’s a complex issue, what goes on inside people’s heads and what makes people do that.”
He also urged people to talk about their problems.
“I know there’s a lot of good organisations out there, but Paul showed no signs.
“People should obviously talk more, but the bottom line is you don’t know what goes on inside someone’s head. Nobody is ever going to know why people consider suicide. People have a lot of stress in their lives these days.
“Your mind is such a sensitive thing — there’s such a fine line between life and death.”
Phillip added that he went on a “path of soul searching” after the the tragedy and visited spiritualist mediums in an attempt to contact his|brother.
He said: “From the moment Paul passed I knew he was very much still around. I feel him every single day.
“One night I had a bad dream. I woke up and he was standing in my room.
“It’s not the end. They are still around us. I’m not saying I would like to push that, but it's a comfort for me.”
He also said he was not angry at his brother’s decision to take his life.
“I’m not going to be angry. I have too much love for Paul, I can’t,” he said.
“I’d rather him be here and I don’t like what he did, but I don’t want to talk about Paul in that way.
“Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes it’s the ultimate mistake. That’s all it takes.”
A family notice in last Friday’s Belfast Telegraph described big-hearted David as “the dearly loved son of William James and Veronica (Ann) Magee and loving brother of Phillip and the late Paul”.