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Bangor murder victim Timothy Graham was 'gentle giant', mourners told

Bangor murder victim Timothy Graham’s coffin is taken into Roselawn Crematorium
Bangor murder victim Timothy Graham’s coffin is taken into Roselawn Crematorium

By Mark McConville

A man murdered in Co Down was a "gentle giant" who "cared and loved his family", mourners at his funeral heard on Friday.

Rev Dr Bryan Follis offered words of encouragement to a packed hall at Roselawn Crematorium, Belfast, as he said that Timothy Graham was now in a peace he had craved his whole life.

Mr Graham (47) was stabbed to death at his home in a sheltered living development on Enterprise Court in Bangor on October 31.

A man appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court the next day to face a single charge of murder. He was remanded in custody.

During the 30-minute ceremony, Rev Follis told mourners of Mr Graham's lifelong struggles with mental illness.

"Although Timothy Graham was deeply loved by his family, he was a troubled and tormented person," he said.

"His mental illness turned his life upside down and when he was particularly ill it completely devastated his life, ruptured relationships and pushed those who loved him to breaking point. 

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"I want to pay tribute to Timothy's family for the ongoing love and support over many difficult years.

"They also greatly appreciate the help and efforts of the medical profession, of social workers and care assistants and of other friends who sought to help and support Timothy.

"Sadly, despite the efforts of many, Timothy continued to lack peace and lacked a sense of contentment and at times his own behaviour could be self-destructive and make matters worse."

As the hall overflowed, with mourners standing in the entryway, Rev Follis explained Mr Graham's illness did not define him, recalling how he held a great faith in God.

"And yet - and it is an important yet - Timothy was a gentle giant," he said.

"Those who knew him well have spoken of his kindness, generosity and genuine concern for other people.

"Timothy was a person who cared, who loved his family and openly told his mum how much he loved her. He was so devoted to his little nephew Samuel and also a person who cared much for other people.

"In many ways Timothy's love and care for others including a willingness to be generous to a fault, flowed from his Christian faith," Rev Follis added.

"Showing love and compassion was more important than things and possessions.

"Timothy had come to a faith and trust in Jesus Christ and he loved the Lord with all his heart."

Rev Follis said Mr Graham had craved peace and "we believe he is now in peace, beyond pain and beyond distress.

Mr Graham leaves behind parents David and Elizabeth, brothers David and Jonathan, sister-in-law Rachael, and nephew Samuel.

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