Belfast Telegraph

Mum's pride for 'amazing' son killed in Downpatrick crash whose funeral seen by friends all over the world

By Chris Kilpatrick

The mother of a young man killed in a car crash says he was an amazing person whose funeral was watched as far away as New Zealand and South Africa.

Jack Murnin, who had worked alongside the Dunlop road-racing family, was killed in an accident near Downpatrick three days before Christmas.

The 20-year-old's father Gerard lost his life in a collision in the town 14 years ago.

Jack's mother Pauline said her son was killed a short distance from the home of a friend he had been going to visit.

His funeral Mass was beamed across the world via the internet.

"It was Jack's day off when he went to collect his friend and he was literally just a corner away from his friend's house when the accident occurred," she said.

"Jack was an amazing, fantastic person.

"He was a very loving person and has never been in any trouble.

"Jack was a very loving son and did so much for me.

"He had a love of motorcycle racing and was reared in paddocks at many race meetings.

"In the past he had worked as part of the pit crew for racers Robert, Michael and William Dunlop and Timmy Elwood.

"It would be fair to say Jack was very well-known."

Jack worked at the Lobster Pot in Strangford and also fixed laptops and smartphones.

Pauline said she had been inundated with messages of sympathy and support at her Bishopscourt home following the tragedy.

In an interview with the Down Recorder, she added: "The service was watched by people in South Africa, Australia, New York and New Zealand and I have had motorcycle racers from across the world emailing me and posting messages on Facebook, people I did not realise Jack knew.

"Everyone loved Jack. There is not one person who has a bad word to say about him."

A minute's silence will be observed in memory of Jack today at a motocross event outside Strangford.

The organisers were set to cancel the event but Jack's family urged them to proceed.

Meanwhile, a woman killed in a one-vehicle crash in Fermanagh last Sunday was yesterday named by police as Margaret McVeigh. The 45-year-old was from Waringstown.

And the funeral of a 48-year-old mother-of-four killed by a bus at a depot in Lisburn is due to take place today.

Linda Stewart Rooney's funeral will take place at St Anne's Parish Church in Dungannon.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan yesterday said: "The new year is a time for resolutions and commitments.

"We are all road users. Let us all therefore commit to playing our part on the road to zero road deaths.

"Too often, we take a risk and make the wrong choice. Is that risk worth a life?

"The number of road fatalities and serious injuries over the past year is a serious concern.

"I extend my sympathy to those who have lost loved ones and suffered life changing injuries," he added.

Road deaths in Northern Ireland have almost doubled in the past two years. The grim toll for 2014 has already reached 79.

Thirty-one drivers, 13 passengers, 18 pedestrians, 13 motorcyclists, three cyclists and one pillion passenger have died as a result of road accidents this year. The worst year on record was 1972, with 355 people losing their lives.

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