More than 1,000 people have attended the funeral of young Northern Irish road racer Jack Oliver.
The 22-year-old died after he came off his motorbike in the Supersport race on the Crossakiel circuit at the Kells Road Races in Co Meath on Sunday, June 19.
His funeral took place at Carrick Parish Church, Limavady, yesterday afternoon. Earlier this week dozens of motorcyclists escorted the hearse carrying Mr Oliver’s coffin from Co Meath to his home.
The procession, made of those in the racing community as well as friends of Mr Oliver, travelled through Newry, Belfast and Dungiven to Mr Oliver’s home in Limavady.
Rev Rhys Jones, the Rector of the Balteagh and Carrick, Tamlaghtard and Aghanloo Group of Parishes, officiated at yesterday’s funeral, which was followed by interment in Enagh Cemetery.
Rev Jones said he believed that more than 1,000 mourners were in attendance at the parish church on the Ballyquin Road.
“There were people attending both in the church, outside in the grounds, and lining the streets,” he said. “It demonstrated the depth of community at times like this, as well as the depth of the biker and racing community.”
Rev Jones added that “the family spoke of Jack’s love for passion for racing and the young man’s life”. In his eulogy, Rev Jones said when he called with Jack’s family “my opening words were quite simply that anything I had to say in these circumstances felt utterly inadequate. That remains so very true. I have no words to make this right… no words to ease your suffering. No one has.”
He added: “It’s in the grace and eternal arms of He who is the resurrection to eternal life that we therefore now commit your beloved Jack — in the knowledge that as he receives your child, God himself not only weeps with you, but unties the bonds of death and sets Jack free — until you meet with him again on the roadways and highways of eternal, heavenly life.”