Tributes paid to 'free spirit' Eugene Boyle as 26-year-old laid to rest after sudden death
A young man who died suddenly was a "free spirit" whose "most striking quality was his innocence", mourners heard yesterday.
Eugene Boyle (26), from Dungiven, passed away at his home on Saturday.
Yesterday hundreds of people packed into St Patrick's Church in the town for Requiem Mass.
Among the congregation was his devastated parents Sean and Martina, his sister Shauna, brother Kevin and girlfriend Cara.
Parish priest Fr Seamus Kelly said Mr Boyle was a young man with an analytical mind and a thirst for knowledge.
He said: "Eugene didn't have the same interests as your typical Dungiven child.
"Instead of being outside playing football, he read facts from the Guinness Book of Records.
"In adulthood, this transformed into a man with a continued thirst for knowledge who was able to eruditely discuss a wide variety of topics, and as his current boss said, 'initiate some very high-brow debates'.
"Having an analytical mind and a strong interest in science led Eugene to pursue a degree in computer science at Ulster University in Magee.
"Eugene's most striking quality was his innocence. Although mischievous, he always maintained a purity and sincerity which drew others to him.
"In many ways, Eugene was a free spirit.
"He could be described as an adrenaline junkie with a love for parachuting and any other extreme sport that was available to him.
"Eugene did not judge. Eugene didn't feel the need to conform to the norm, instead he was a happy-go-lucky person, always being true to himself." Fr Kelly offered words of comfort to Mr Boyle's family and friends, reminding them of the example Mr Boyle showed them during his 26 years.
He continued: "Anyone who ever knew Eugene would know that he had a huge heart and was highly sensitive to the needs of others.
"This meant that he was fiercely loyal to his family and friends.
"When they felt down or troubled, he would want to take it away from them so that they could be happy again. He showed selfless love, often going out of his way to help others.
"Eugene's spirit will be missed dearly. His sharp wit, fun-loving and easy-going nature brought light to those around him. He would often be the one in the group initiating laughter and radiating happiness.
"For the family, life without Eugene on Earth will be unbearably empty. But in his 26 years, he has given his family and friends a special gift.
"He has shown them what it means to be pure in heart and what true happiness feels like."
Following the service, interment took place in the adjoining cemetery.