Priest hits out at 'parasite drug dealers' at funeral of young Belfast father
A priest has hit out at "drug dealing parasites" following the tragic death of a young father in Belfast.
Father Gary Donegan was speaking at the funeral of 22-year-old Deaghlan Cole, who died last week following a battle with drug addiction.
Fr Donegan, in his homily preached at Holy Cross Church , said:" Deaghlan, and I say this with full permission of Colette, tragically bore the disease of addiction, and despite the many challenges Deaghlan’s choices imposed on his parents, they loved him all the more, as only a parent can.
"This often led not just to judgements by others about Deaglan’s life-style, but also on Paul’s, and in particular over the last 4 years, Colette’s maternal instinct to love her son despite the flaws in his personality that impacted upon their lives and that of their family.
"It would have been very easy to have given up on Deaghlan, but today is as much about reflecting upon his mother’s love, and that of his family, as it is about the decisions Deaghlan made that caused them to reach deeper into that never ending chasm of love.
"Deaghlan made his choices in life. He saw his friend die last week. He cried bitter tears, but his way of dealing with the tragedy after a few days was to go out partying and using drugs again which despite rumour, was the reason for him falling asleep and not waking up."
Fr Donegan said Deaghlan lost many friends through the tragedy of addiction and suicide.
The pupils of Holy Cross Boy's School, his former school, this week lit 20 candles representing former pupils whose deaths were because of suicide or drugs.
He said: "Contemplate that an area of one square mile, in one school, the magnitude of the loss of 20 young men. That is a fifth of the total number of victims lost due to the Conflict in this parish."
Fr Donegan said Deaghlan loved to be the "centre of attention" through "his fashion, his permanent shades, his physical fitness, his gleaming smile, his dancing, his singing."
The priest issued a warning to Deaghlan's friends.
"So I say to you, his friends, you too are also unique and special," he said. "There is nobody else like you, so make your life count. Each one of you is a bright light and nobody wants to see the bright light that you are go out. Look at the hurt and pain in the face of Deaghlan’s mother and his family."
Fr Donegan then hit out at the hypocrisy of drugs dealers in Belfast.
He said: "When I first came here 19 years ago this week, I stated that I had come to lead and not to be popular. So in the strongest terms, I make no apologies for calling out the parasites who make their money destroying the beauty of you, our young people.
"I have watched these same people hypocritically and unashamedly attend funerals such as this crying their crocodile tears. Be under no illusion, they are responsible for bringing the mayhem and horror to our homes and to our communities, profiting from the misery of the vulnerable."
Belfast Telegraph Digital