Belfast Telegraph

Tributes to Northern Ireland joiner Eoghan Friel (35) who died in New York

By Donna Deeney

Tributes have been paid to a Dungiven father-of-two who passed away suddenly in New York where he had moved 10 years ago to make a better life for himself.

Eoghan Friel (35), was described as a hard worker and talented musician by Fr Arthur O'Reilly, curate at St Peter and St Paul's Church in Foreglen where Requiem Mass will be celebrated on Saturday at 11am.

Mr Friel's remains were brought to the home of his parents yesterday by the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust following a celebration of his life in New York on Monday.

Fr O'Reilly said: "Eoghan's parents and his brothers and sisters are shocked and heartbroken at his death.

"This has been an extremely difficult time for them especially as Eoghan died so far from home.

"But the Kevin Bell Trust has taken a great weight off their shoulders.

"They will be relieved to have him back with them.

"However, it is particularly sad that Eoghan hadn't been able to make it back home in the years since he emigrated."

Mr Friel emigrated to the Woodlawn area of New York, where his sisters were already located, to work as a joiner.

Fr O'Reilly described Mr Friel as "a hard working chap" who was also musically gifted.

"I believe the autopsy showed Eoghan died from natural causes which came as a terrible shock to all of his family here," he added.

Mr Friel is survived by his parents Thomas and Marie, his children, Cillian and Niamh, and his siblings Stephen, Michelle, Brenda, Elaine and Gareth.

Belfast Telegraph

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