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Mother 'stood by' son as jail death man Gerard Mulligan is laid to rest

Close family and friends follow the coffin of Gerard Mulligan, who took his own life at Maghaberry Prison
Brendan Hughes

THE mother of a man who died in prison after being charged with his father's murder "stood by her son" and will always love him, his funeral was told.

Gerard Mulligan (44) took his own life on Saturday while being held on remand at the high-security Maghaberry Prison.

He had been accused of murdering his father, Gerald Mulligan, whose body was found in the boot of a car near his home in Lisburn in September.

A court was told the victim, aged in his seventies, had been struck with a breeze block.

The PSNI, coroner and Prisoner Ombudsman have launched investigations into the inmate's death.

Mourners gathered in west Belfast as his coffin was brought from his mother's home to St Agnes's Church for 1.30pm Requiem Mass ahead of cremation at Roselawn.

Gerard Mulligan with his partner Michelle Logue

In his homily, Fr David Delargy told how Eileen had visited her son in Maghaberry and offered him "much-needed reassurance that he was loved still".

"Eileen loved Gerard with a mother's love – that love which never fails, in spite of the ups and downs and disappointments of life. Eileen stood by her son in his recent troubles," he said.

"She visited him in Maghaberry and told him that she loved him. He was her son and, no matter what, she would always love him."

Fr Delargy said that car dealer Mr Mulligan, a father-of-three, was in recent months a "deeply troubled soul" who suffered with mental health issues.

He said Mr Mulligan had in recent weeks returned to Mass, describing it as a sign that he "desired to work things out with God and that he longed to find some peace in his tormented life".

Ahead of the funeral, Eileen paid tribute to her son in a poignant newspaper family notice.

The short message read: "My dearly beloved son, finally you are at peace. I will miss your big hugs. Forever loved and missed by your mummy Eileen. x."

His partner Michelle Logue also said in a notice the couple were known as 'Bonny and Clyde', adding: "You are the love of my life."

Gerard Mulligan with his partner Michelle Logue

Mr Mulligan is also survived by his three children Sarah, Shane and Mia, and his sisters Eileen, Geraldine, Angela and Siobhan.

A court heard Mr Mulligan had gone to his father's house at Limehurst Way in Lisburn to repair a vehicle, but an argument later ensued.

Lisburn Magistrates Court heard that after the pensioner's death, the accused took drugs and called his partner.

A detective said he told the woman: "I've murdered my dad... and he's in the boot of the (Vauxhall) Tigra."

Maghaberry in Co Antrim houses long-term sentenced and remand prisoners in both separated and integrated conditions.

There have been several deaths at the complex since a damning official report last year branded it "unsafe and unstable".

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