Northern Ireland news

Priest at funeral of Nathan Gibson tells mourners the young father was 'savagely stolen in the depths of the night'

Mourners at the funeral of Nathan Gibson in Craigavon yesterday. Picture by Justin Kernoghan/ Photopress

A PRIEST at the funeral of murdered Co Armagh man Nathan Gibson yesterday told mourners of how the young father had been "savagely stolen in the depths of the night".

Family and friends, most of whom wore jerseys of Mr Gibson's beloved Liverpool Football Club, gathered to say their farewells at St Anthony's Church in Craigavon.

His partner Joanna Black, whose leg was in a cast with the words 'love conquers evil' across it, had also donned a football top for the service with Nathan's name and age printed on the back.

Their six-year-old son John also wore a jersey with 'Dad' on it, while some mourners carried Liverpool flags as the funeral cortege made its way to the church.

Mr Gibson (25) was killed close to Craigavon Lakes on January 16. A 40-year-old man has been charged with his murder.

At the service, Fr John Byrne spoke of the "hurt and sorrow of the family, Joanna and John and all who loved him".

"And with Nathan, why did it have to happen," he asked.

Nathan Gibson was killed close to Craigavon Lakes on January 16

"Why did it have to happen now?

"Today we are gathered to celebrate Nathan's life - a young man savagely stolen in the depths of the night."

The priest also described how Mr Gibson had been "known for his sense of humour - always telling a joke".

"Some would say he was still a child - and that stayed with him right up to the end," he said.

"He was in his mum's eyes the golden boy.

Mourners at the funeral of Nathan Gibson in Craigavon yesterday. Picture by Justin Kernoghan/ Photopress

"From school he moved on to catering in Portadown and he met Joanna, nearly 10 years ago now at the Red Bridge not so far from here.

"The arrival of John six years ago was very, very special to them."

During the service, Liverpool FC's anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone was sung, while his partner received a round of applause after reciting a poem she had written in his memory.

Alan Lewis - PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 30/1/2020 .Picture By Justin Kernoghan.Mourners at the funeral of murdered 25 year old Nathan Gibson in Craigavon today - Nathan's family and friends were asked to wear Liverpool football shirts of something red at his funeral. Nathan Gibson's funeral was held at St Anthony Craigavon, Burial afterwards in Lylo Cemetery. .Mr Gibson was was found fatally wounded on a towpath near Lake Road and was pronounced dead at the scene. A 40-year-old man has appeared in court charged with the murder of Nathan Gibson in Craigavon, County Armagh..

A celebration of his life was due to be held after the funeral service with a rainbow fire pit, fireworks, lanterns and the "sharing of wonderful and happy memories" of the father-of-one.

Mr Gibson was laid to rest at Lylo Cemetery in Craigavon beside his mother Gail Gibson, who died in 2015 following a battle with cancer.

Mourners at the funeral of Nathan Gibson in Craigavon yesterday. Picture by Justin Kernoghan/ Photopress

Paul John Joseph Whitla (40), of no fixed address, appeared in court last week accused of killing Mr Gibson and remains in custody.

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