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'Sleep tight daddy'... son's moving goodbye at ex-GAA star Johnny Curran's funeral

Little boy recites poem to mourners in tribute to Johnny Curran who died suddenly

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Caption: Johnny Curran with partner Clodagh Daly and sons Neasan and Darsai

Caption: Johnny Curran with partner Clodagh Daly and sons Neasan and Darsai

Caption: Johnny Curran with partner Clodagh Daly and sons Neasan and Darsai

THE young son of former Tyrone goalkeeper Johnny Curran read a heartfelt poem at his father's funeral, telling him to "sleep tight daddy".

Mr Curran (33), who lived in Donaghmore, passed away after suddenly taking ill early on Sunday.

He is survived by his partner Clodagh Daly (28), their two boys Neasan (8) and Darsai (4), parents Alicia and Anthony, siblings Stevy and Louise, and the wider family circle.

The popular father-of-two was part of the Tyrone GAA team that won the 2004 All-Ireland minor championship, and part of the 2008 senior squad that beat Kerry to lift the Sam Maguire.

He also played football for Dungannon Swifts, featuring in an Irish Cup semi-final in 2012.

Mr Curran was also a goalkeeper for hometown clubs Coalisland Fianna GAC and Coalisland Athletic FC. He was also part of the Fianna team that reached three county finals, including the side that won the O'Neill Cup in 2010.

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Mr Curran's funeral Mass took place yesterday at the Church of Holy Family, Platers Hill in Coalisland.

Mr Curran's son Neasan read a poem in memory of his father to the congregation.

"Sleep tight daddy, we have been blessed," he said.

"Sleep tight daddy, you are the best.

"Sleep tight daddy, this isn't goodbye.

"Sleep tight daddy, up in the sky."

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph on Wednesday, Clodagh said she has been "completely broken into pieces" and will do everything to keep Johnny's spirit alive for their two children.

The couple had planned to get engaged on their 10th anniversary next June.

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Respected: Jonny Curran played in goals for Tyrone and Dungannon Swifts FC

Respected: Jonny Curran played in goals for Tyrone and Dungannon Swifts FC

�INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Respected: Jonny Curran played in goals for Tyrone and Dungannon Swifts FC

In a separate poem yesterday afternoon, an emotional Clodagh read: "Johnny, your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure, you are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure."

His brother Stevy also read a poem looking back at his sporting career, meeting Clodagh and becoming a father.

"Croke Park was, in 2004, the first All-Ireland, he was thirsty for more - 2008 and many games later, the second All-Ireland, as a sub the wee crater," he said.

"Three Ulster medals along the way, soon the O'Neill Cup was on its way. The county final in 2010, Coalisland Fianna champions again.

"A short time after there was no further mention as Clodagh had taken all his attention."

Clodagh's father Sean described Mr Curran as the "most kind and decent fella" he had ever come across.

"Johnny was very talented on the football field both on and off it," he said during the service.

"I just want to thank him for all the help and kindness he has shown to us throughout the years and for the two beautiful grandchildren, Neasan and Darsai, he has blessed us with.

"As a person said to me in a conversation at Johnny's wake, any parent would be proud to have Johnny as a son-in-law.

"I guess I was the lucky one."

Floral tributes were left outside Mr Curran's barber shop, J's in Dungannon, prior to yesterday's service.

Following his funeral, Mr Curran was laid to rest in St Patrick's cemetery in Donaghmore.

Mr Curran had artery disease, a condition which had been underlying and had gone undiagnosed.


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