|The funeral of
Aaron Montgomery held at Holy Trinity Parish Church,
Soldierstown, Aghalee. Father and son carry the
coffin from the church.
HUNDREDS of people have turned out for the
funeral of the 23-year-old Moira man who died after an incident
during a night out in Belfast.
Addressing mourners who attended the service
for Aaron Montgomery in Soldierstown, near Aghalee, the Rev
Simon Doogan said his devastated parents wanted to set the
record straight on what happened outside the Skye nightclub.
"What happened outside Skye is no more and no
less than what always happens at closing time outside discos and
dances," he told a packed congregation at Holy Trinity Parish
The clergyman said that "as in all cities",
going home time could sadly prove to be a time of "some
mindlessness which can result in real tragedy".
And he insisted that the Moira man and his
friends were trying to walk away from trouble, and that is it in
The marketing department employee had been
enjoying a Valentine's disco at the Belfast nightclub when
tragedy struck at the end of the night.
Since then, family, friends and colleagues
have been leaving messages of sympathy for the man they
described as "a kind, polite and very likeable guy" on his
personal Bebo Internet site.
Last Thursday the volume of mourners was so
large there was not enough room inside the church, with some
having to pack into the youth hall, and many more standing
Scores of young people - some in school
uniform -wept openly, the emotion of the occasion proving too
Among those who turned up to pay their
respects were Belfast Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers and Lagan Valley MP
Delivering the address, Mr Doogan described
Aaron as someone who had grown up to be "affectionate,
dependable, straight talking, never in trouble, someone who
always gave back twice as much in love and friendship as he had
been given". He said he had a passion for life and for football
-more particularly his favourite team, Manchester United,
visibly highlighted by the red and white flowers that adorned
"Aaron had health and vigour and energy - and
a big appetite from day one. He grew up strong yet he grew up
soft. He was never cheeky but was capable of all sorts of
"He was everything a mother could want her
eldest child to be. He was a young man with a head for facts and
figures, and any flair he lacked he made up for in sheer hard
Mr Doogan said that to his brother Adam he
was a sibling he could spend time with "without any danger of
cramping his style", and to his sister Rachel, he was one "who
got more use out of her expensive hair straighteners that she
He revealed that Rachel had spoken to Aaron on the phone just
a few hours before he died. which had proven to be "one last
chance to hear his voice"
The clergyman added: "To his friends, he was someone who was
great company, loyal, dependable, fun to be with.
"To his football teammates, he was someone
who was enthusiastic and committed. To his work colleagues, he
was part of a team and someone destined for a very bright
A poem was also read by Aaron's brother Adam
which included the line: "It broke our hearts to lose you and
you don't go alone, because part of us went with you, the day
God called you home."
Aaron was buried in the adjoining cemetery.