Belfast Telegraph

Andrew Dunbar funeral: Mourners told Game of Thrones extra was 'warm fire that heated our souls every day'

Mourners, some wearing 'Game Of Thrones' jackets, attending a thanksgiving service for actor Andrew Dunbar. Picture by Justin Kernoghan
Mourners, some wearing 'Game Of Thrones' jackets, attending a thanksgiving service for actor Andrew Dunbar. Picture by Justin Kernoghan
Sarah Tulloch

By Sarah Tulloch

Mourners at the funeral of popular Northern Ireland Game of Thrones extra Andrew Dunbar have been urged to “be open” and “take care of themselves” following the actor’s sudden death.

Mr Dunbar, who was originally from Portrush, passed away at his home in Martinez Avenue in east Belfast on Christmas eve.

On Monday, family members and friends turned out to say a final farewell at Ballywillan Presbyterian Church in Portrush.

As well as working on Game of Thrones, where he played the body double of Alfie Allen’s character Theon Greyjoy, the 34-year-old also appeared in Line of Duty and Derry Girls.

His brother Alan thanked a packed church for the “outpouring of love” which  had been an “enormous source of comfort to family and friends”.

As well as acting, Mr Dunbar, worked as a DJ and an artist and his paintings were commissioned all over the world.

The Portrush man was also in a local band called Team Fresh, which his bandmate Niall described as “the north coast’s answer to the Beastie Boys”.

Andrew Dunbar. Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Andrew Dunbar. Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO

Alan said Mr Dunbar “seemed to move effortlessly from one genre to the other, picking up new experiences and skills with ease, lighting up the lives of those he came into contact with along the way”.

He also told of how the actor was adored by young and old throughout the family, but particularly by his young nieces and nephews.

“The kids all have great memories of hurling themselves off the rocks of Dunseverick with Andrew leading the way.

“And let’s face it - every event or gathering was better if Andrew could attend.”

Describing Mr Dunbar as a beautiful son, a loving brother, an awesome uncle and a steadfast friend, he urged mourners to take time to look after themselves.

“Life is fleeting and precious, not only to ourselves, but to those who love us. Please take care of yourselves - I mean that in every sense - and be mindful of others.”

Hundreds of mourners attending a thanksgiving service for actor Andrew Dunbar at Ballywillan Presbyterian Church in Portrush. Picture by Justin Kernoghan
Hundreds of mourners attending a thanksgiving service for actor Andrew Dunbar at Ballywillan Presbyterian Church in Portrush. Picture by Justin Kernoghan

His bandmate Rory said Mr Dunbar was like “a warm fire in our life that heated our souls every day”.

“Our proudest trophy, the friend you couldn’t wait for your other friends to meet, your parents’ dote, your girlfriends’ crush.”

Speaking at the service of thanksgiving, Ballywillan minister Rev. Dr Stephen Williamson opened up about his own struggles with mental health.

“Sometimes it’s easy to get into a dark place. I struggle with depression and am in and out of dark places,” he said.

“There’s a need to talk and to keep on talking. To be open to talk with each other… to be open to listening and to keep on listening and to be open about taking action when action needs to be taken.

“Men seem to find this harder. Guys, we need to learn to be open with ourselves and with each other.

He added: “There are plenty of groups and organisations out there willing and able to help you. You are not alone.”

Mr Dunbar is survived by his mother Edna, brothers David and Alan and family circle.

Game of Thrones star Alfie Allen said he was “shocked and saddened” after learning about the death of Mr Dunbar.

He paid tribute on Instagram, writing: “Andrew was an actor who was also a stand-in as Theon on GoT. Extremely shocked and saddened to hear of his passing.

“To lose a loved one so young, I can only imagine what his family are going through. RIP Andrew xxx.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph