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Murder victim Mark Ponisi was `part of lost Troubles generation'

The funeral of Mark Ponisi takes place in St Paul's Church in Belfast. Picture Mal McCann

MURDER victim Mark Ponisi was "part of the lost generation" of the Troubles, mourners at his funeral have heard.

The 53-year-old's body was found in the living room of a flat on London Road, off Ravenhill Avenue in east Belfast on the morning of Saturday January 20.

It is understood that he appeared to have sustained injuries to his head and face. Two people have been jointly charged with is murder.

Family and friends gathered at St Paul's Church on Falls Road in west Belfast today to say farewell to Mr Ponisi.

Fr Tony Devlin spoke of Mr Ponisi's place as the youngest in his family and how "that made him the baby (to his siblings) at 53 years of age".

"He was the one to be protected, the one to be loved, the one to be cared for."

The priest remarked that his life had been blighted by Belfast's violent recent past.

"Growing up in the height of the Troubles, he just managed to survive," he said.

"A place of safety was difficult for him to find in his own life, in his own body."

Mourners heard how he married and "loved his children Mark and Shannon and his grandchildren".

"He was proud of his family, but unfortunately his insecurity meant he sabotaged the opportunities that came to him," Fr Devlin said.

"He was part of a lost generation. Mark grew up in difficult times and he couldn't still all the difficulties of life that surrounded him, that crowded him in."

Referring to the manner of his death, the priest said: "Mark's life was taken in a way that nobody should ever experience and no family should ever suffer."

Mr Ponsini was buried after Requiem Mass at nearby Belfast City Cemetery.

The funeral of Mark Ponisi takes place in St Paul's Church in Belfast. Picture Mal McCann

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