Belfast Telegraph

Funeral held for man who died in Derry flat along with unnamed woman

The bodies were found in a flat at Great James Street in Derry
The bodies were found in a flat at Great James Street in Derry
Leona O'Neill

By Leona O'Neill

The funeral took place yesterday of a man found dead at a property in Londonderry city centre at the weekend.

Thirty-eight-year-old Joseph McIntyre from Creggan in the city and a woman were found dead by Joseph's father, who called to his son's ground floor flat on Great James Street on Sunday morning.

Post-mortem examinations and toxicology investigations have been carried out to determine cause of death, but as yet the results have not been published.

Mr McIntyre's Requiem Mass took place in St Mary's Church in Creggan.

Speaking to mourners there, Father Joseph Gormley described Mr McIntyre as "a big gentleman" who would "have done anything for you".

"Creggan has been a big part of Joe's life," he said.

"And as you go around this area and talk to people who knew him, the words you hear are consistent.

"They say he was a 'big gentleman' and 'he would give you the shirt off his back'.

"Joe by all accounts was always thinking of other people. He would always be the first person to make sure that people had a meal at Christmas, working with the Salvation Army who were giving Christmas dinners to those who lived alone.

"Part of that, of course, came from the love that Joe experienced in his own home from his sister and brothers and his parents. It is beautiful to see the photograph here on the altar of them all together in happier family times at (sister) Cathy's wedding.

"And this reminds us of what is truly important, the most important thing of all, the support we get from family."

Father Gormley used Joe's last words to his mother to urge mourners to reflect on the power of words and actions.

"I think the most significant thing of all for Joe was the love that he had for his parents." he said. "There is a beautiful photograph of Joe with his father hanging in the room where he was being waked. And there is no doubt that Joe and his dad were the best of friends.

"And his dad Chris has the consolation knowing that everything he did, he did for the best for Joe.

"The last words that Joe spoke to his mother were: 'You're one in a million, the best mother, don't ever forget it'. Those were heartfelt words.

"The relationship Joe had with both his parents is something that we want to reflect on, particularly today. Those words and actions have left his parents positive memories of their son.

"That is such a gift and it will be a blessing in the future.

"But it is a challenge to every single one of us, to think about how we live our lives and the words we speak to our families, friends and each other.

"We should really live our lives as if each day will be our last. To speak to people as though the words we speak might be the last things we say.

"And we want to be confident that the words we leave are ones of positivity, power and love," he added.

The police say that they are awaiting toxicology reports to determine how both people died.

A PSNI spokesperson said: "Post-mortems have been held into the death of a man and a woman whose bodies were found at a property on Great James Street in Derry/Londonderry on Sunday.

"Police are awaiting the results of toxicology reports. There are no further details at this time."

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