Belfast Telegraph

Family bid final farewell to Northern Ireland man who lost life while backpacking in Cambodia

Hundreds pay respects at funeral of tragic Stephen

By Angela Rainey

A backpacker from Northern Ireland who died in Cambodia two weeks ago has been laid to rest.

A requiem mass was held for father-of-two Martin Stephen Hale (34), who was known as Marty, at St Patrick's Church in his hometown of Lisburn yesterday.

In his homily Fr Dermot McCaughan said "the loss of life was tragic".

He said that the family had taken comfort from the fact that hundreds had turned out to pay their respects.

He added that the family "had felt supported and consoled" by members of both sides of the community "and were heartened by it".

The congregation sang The Lord is My Shepherd while the homily was a celebration of Mr Hale's life.

The family walked together to the graveside at Holy Trinity Cemetery to say their final goodbyes.

Mr Hale died from a suspected drugs overdose in the Happy House guest house in Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh after taking tablets containing morphine.

Father to Cora and Shauna, he had been travelling around south-east Asia for about two-and-a-half months.

Speaking at the time of Mr Hale's death on July 1, his mother Teresa Temple said he had died from a cardiac arrest.

She added that she had previously tried to warn him of the dangers of drug abuse.

Mr Hale had been travelling without holiday insurance but his family was assisted by the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust to bring his body home to Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph