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Stephen Ferrin (31) was `truly loved' mourners hear at funeral of north Belfast father-of-one

Requiem Mass for Stephen Ferrin was held at Sacred Heart Church in north Belfast 

MOURNERS at the funeral of a 31-year-old who was found dead at his north Belfast home on Saturday heard today that he was "truly loved".

Stephen Ferrin, a father-of-one from the Oldpark area, had been found in Derry following an appeal after going missing last week, but was discovered dead just days later.

Requiem Mass was celebrated in Sacred Heart Church.

He was the third of his family's three sons to die by suicide and is understood to have been treated in Antrim Area Hospital shortly before his death.

Fr Darach Mac Giolla Catháin recalled how kind Stephen had been from an early age, telling mourners "he would give up his pram for his sister" and was "very bright at school".

The talented chef "adored his little girl Sophie and was close with his family", treating his nieces and nephew to chocolate and sweets.

His sense of mischief was recalled and love of "playing tricks on people", along with how he had a "good sense of humour, (was) witty and enjoyed a laugh".

Stephen's brothers - Kieran (24) and 19-year-old Niall - died by suicide, as did his cousin Christopher, who was also 19 years old.

Fr Mac Giolla Catháin said he knew family and friends have been wondering what Mr Ferrin's troubles had been and why he or they "didn't say something",

"It does not serve any purpose for us to torture ourselves with such questions, natural though they be," he said.

"Rather we ask what we can, as individuals and as the parish community of Sacred Heart, do to ensure that we do not have to gather in such circumstances as these again."

He told young people that it was "brave to admit to ourselves and to others that we have problems, that we have worries, that we have anxieties, that we carry burdens that cause us to lose sleep and shed tears.

"We are truly heroic when, with the grace of God and the help of others, we face up to the reality of our lives and know that there is always hope."

He said "something, maybe many things must have been weighing on Stephen's mind over these days, weeks, months, maybe even years".

Burial took place afterwards at Carnmoney Cemetery.

Mr Ferrin is survived by his parents Patricia and Eddie, sisters Seaneen and Danielle, and seven-year-old daughter Sophie.

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