'River of tears' shed for tragic teacher Christopher Colhoun as he is laid to rest
A young teacher and GAA player who died after falling ill has been laid to rest in the church grounds where he married and had his two young daughters baptised.
Hundreds of mourners packed into St Patrick's Church in Clonoe, Co Tyrone, for Requiem Mass for Christopher Colhoun.
The 33-year-old passed away on Monday. He had recently taken up the post as vice-principal of St Patrick's Primary School in Donaghmore and was a lifelong player for Pomeroy Plunketts GAA Club.
Parish priest Canon Benedict Fee told mourners it was a "painful privilege" for him to celebrate Requiem Mass for Mr Colhoun.
In his homily, the priest recalled the happier times the deceased had spent in the church.
He said: "The very reason this painful privilege falls to me is that it was my sweet, sublime privilege to be with Lisa and Christopher on the day they were wed, four and a half years ago. Together on that day, they pledged to love each other truly, for better, for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health all the days of their life - none of us knew how few those days would be.
"Within those all-too-few days the Lord was most kind, for into the world came a great Grace - and I mean just that, Grace, their first little girl. And then not so long after, came Beth. He doted on each of them. Life was good for Christopher.
"He had his family, his football and he had his teaching too.
"He was so proud when he was appointed vice-principal of St Patrick's, Donaghmore, last July."
Fr Fee offered words of comfort to Mr Colhoun's widow, Lisa, his parents Rhona and Christy, siblings and the wider family circle.
He said: "I heard somewhere someone say that if at your funeral you have someone crying over you then your life has been a success and on Monday night after saying the prayers I came out of the wake house and saw in the corner of the porch two big men weeping bitterly.
"These last few days there has been a river of tears shed for the loss that Lisa and her girls and Rhona and Christy and their family are suffering."