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Greenvale tragedy: Connor’s infectious smile ‘lit up every room he entered’

 

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Team-mates of Connor Currie perform a huddle beside his coffin at St Malachy’s Church, Edendork

Team-mates of Connor Currie perform a huddle beside his coffin at St Malachy’s Church, Edendork

Mourners at the funeral mass for Connor Currie in St Malachy’s, Edendork

Mourners at the funeral mass for Connor Currie in St Malachy’s, Edendork

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Connor’s father Eamon attends his son’s funeral

Connor’s father Eamon attends his son’s funeral

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Mourners at the funeral mass for Connor Currie in St Malachy’s, Edendork

Mourners at the funeral mass for Connor Currie in St Malachy’s, Edendork

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Mourners at the funeral mass for Connor Currie in St Malachy’s, Edendork

Mourners at the funeral mass for Connor Currie in St Malachy’s, Edendork

Connor Currie

Connor Currie

Photopress

Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill at the funeral

Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill at the funeral

Mourners at the funeral mass for Connor Currie in St Malachy’s, Edendork

Mourners at the funeral mass for Connor Currie in St Malachy’s, Edendork

Getty Images

Mourners at the funeral mass for Connor Currie in St Malachy’s, Edendork

Mourners at the funeral mass for Connor Currie in St Malachy’s, Edendork

Getty Images

Team-mates of Connor Currie perform a huddle beside his coffin at St Malachy’s Church, Edendork

Mourners at the funeral of the youngest victim of the St Patrick's night tragedy heard that "the times with Connor Currie were good times".

The Co Tyrone community gathered in sadness for the third time in the space of a few hours at St Malachy's Church, Edendork to say a final goodbye to the 16-year-old.

Services for the other two victims at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown last Sunday night, 17-year-olds Morgan Barnard and Lauren Bullock, had already been held in neighbouring Dungannon and Donaghmore.

"With Connor there were an abundance of times to laugh, a great amount of times to love and be loved," parish priest Fr Kevin Donaghy told mourners.

"As his parents told me, he was a gem."

Many lined the footpaths outside the small country chapel, bringing the village, just a few miles outside Dungannon, to a standstill.

As the light drizzle drifted past, giving way to watery sunshine, team-mates from Connor's local GAC club in Edendork broke away from their line of honour to surround his coffin as it was being lifted from the hearse.

In silence they stood around him, arms linked, taking one final minute, one final team huddle with their friend.

Watching on were Connor's mother Ciara, father Eamon and his three younger brothers Sean, Cormac and Cahir, all wearing Edendork GAC jerseys.

Those inside St Malachy's, as well as hundreds more spilling out down the steep path leading up to the church and along the roadside, heard Fr Donaghy give a message of thanks from Connor's family.

"In recent days Connor's parents and close family have been greatly comforted by the good memories shared with them by Connor's classmates, team-mates, teachers and friends," he said.

"Friends have recalled how he lit up a room as he entered it and his infectious smile warmed everyone's hearts."

Family members paid tribute by leaving mementoes of Connor's short life beside his coffin during the service - photos of Connor and his family, his St Patrick's Academy blazer, his Edendork GAA jersey, football boots and a football trophy he had won.

"Thankfully, Connor lived through a lot of positive experiences," Fr Donaghy said.

"He knew an abundance of times to laugh and even some times to dance; over the years of his young life there was a lot of time to build up his academic success and his sporting skill; plenty of time to keep in his memories of good times with family and friends - treasured times together."

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Funeral of 16-year-old Connor Currie at St Malachy's Church in Edendork, Co. Tyrone.  Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Funeral of 16-year-old Connor Currie at St Malachy's Church in Edendork, Co. Tyrone. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 22nd March 2019

Funeral of 16-year-old Connor Currie at St Malachy's Church in Edendork, Co. Tyrone.  Connor died along with Morgan Barnard(17) and 17-year-old Lauren Bullock after an incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown on St Patrick's night. 

Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 22nd March 2019 Funeral of 16-year-old Connor Currie at St Malachy's Church in Edendork, Co. Tyrone. Connor died along with Morgan Barnard(17) and 17-year-old Lauren Bullock after an incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown on St Patrick's night. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

The hearse arrives at the funeral of Connor Currie at St Malachy's Church, Edendork. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 22, 2019. Teenagers  Lauren Bullock, Connor Currie and Morgan Barnard died after a crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, on Sunday. See PA story ULSTER Cookstown. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The hearse arrives at the funeral of Connor Currie at St Malachy's Church, Edendork. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 22, 2019. Teenagers Lauren Bullock, Connor Currie and Morgan Barnard died after a crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, on Sunday. See PA story ULSTER Cookstown. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

PA

The coffin arrives for the funeral of Connor Currie at St Malachy's Church, Edendork. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 22, 2019. Teenagers  Lauren Bullock, Connor Currie and Morgan Barnard died after a crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, on Sunday. See PA story ULSTER Cookstown. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The coffin arrives for the funeral of Connor Currie at St Malachy's Church, Edendork. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 22, 2019. Teenagers Lauren Bullock, Connor Currie and Morgan Barnard died after a crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, on Sunday. See PA story ULSTER Cookstown. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

PA

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Friends and family of teenager Conor Currie attend his funeral in Edendork this morning. Conor and two others were killed in a tragic accident at the Greenvale Hotel on St Patricks night. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Friends and family of teenager Conor Currie attend his funeral in Edendork this morning. Conor and two others were killed in a tragic accident at the Greenvale Hotel on St Patricks night. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Mourners attend the funeral of Connor Currie. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Mourners attend the funeral of Connor Currie. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Getty Images

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

PACEMAKER BELFAST  22/03/2019
Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill and Mary Lou McDonald attend the funeral of  Conor Currie  in Edendork this morning. Conor and two others were killed in a tragic accident at the Greenvale Hotel on St Patricks night.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2019 Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill and Mary Lou McDonald attend the funeral of Conor Currie in Edendork this morning. Conor and two others were killed in a tragic accident at the Greenvale Hotel on St Patricks night. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  22/03/2019
Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill and Mary Lou McDonald attend the funeral of  Conor Currie  in Edendork this morning. Conor and two others were killed in a tragic accident at the Greenvale Hotel on St Patricks night.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2019 Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill and Mary Lou McDonald attend the funeral of Conor Currie in Edendork this morning. Conor and two others were killed in a tragic accident at the Greenvale Hotel on St Patricks night. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Connor Currie

Connor Currie

Photopress

Funeral of 16-year-old Connor Currie at St Malachy's Church in Edendork, Co. Tyrone. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Fr Donaghy went on to tell the mourners how young Connor had been planning a future career as an accountant.

"Teachers remember him as a courteous and appreciative young student, always in the habit of saying thank you as he left the classroom," he said.

"A conscientious student, he had his sights set on doing accountancy, the office desk and computer set-up in his bedroom a sure sign that he was preparing for a life of paperwork, computers and figures.

"And there's always bits of a teenager's life that the parents don't get to see, so it has only been in the last few days that Connor's friends shared with his parents some video shots on their phones of Connor practising his dance moves - and improving those skills as well!

"There's a thing too about Connor that maybe his friends didn't know - he was actually born in Armagh and lived in Portadown until he was about seven years old.

"He recently went to the McKenna Cup Final with his Tyrone top on, but before leaving he let his Armagh-born mother have a peep to see that he had an Armagh top on underneath the Tyrone one.

"Connor was going to be a winner either way!

"And a winner indeed he was: a winner of a loving family; a winner of many loyal friends and team-mates; a winner in school life and on the sports field - and a winner above all, of a place among the ranks of God's children."

Emotions were high as prayers were read for Connor and the two other victims of last weekend's tragic events - Morgan Barnard and Lauren Bullock - by Ruairi O'Hanlon, Jamie Watt, James Currie and Darragh Dalton, all close friends of the deceased.

At one stage the grief of the day became too much for one young friend, who had to be led away from the crowd gathered at the door of the church.

In his address to mourners, Archbishop Eamon Martin urged young people to look out for each other.

"Here in Co Tyrone this week - as families, parishes, schools and communities - we've been circling each other around with love and faith and kindness and compassion.

"The shocking events of Sunday last have reminded us that life is very fragile; we need to cherish every moment and always look out for each other, and keep each other safe," he said.

Following Requiem Mass, Connor was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery.

Belfast Telegraph