Northern Ireland

Funeral of Alex Duffy: He was ‘an example to every single one of us of how life should be lived’

Mourners at a funeral look on as a casket is brought out of a church, Alex Duffy picture inset
Alex Duffy Mourners gather at Sacred Heart Church on Thursday for Alex Duffy's Requiem Mass

Mourners at the funeral of a young north Belfast man have heard how he was “an example to every single one of us of how life should be lived”.

Fr Kieran Creagh also spoke about the “positive influence” Alex Duffy had on others and how the “ripple effect” of his kindness was felt throughout Belfast.

The 21-year-old from Cliftondene Gardens died on Sunday following a short illness.

Alex Duffy
Alex Duffy

Family and friends joined hundreds of mourners at Sacred Heart Church on Thursday for his Requiem Mass, where he was remembered as “everybody’s friend” and someone who dedicated his time to volunteering with numerous projects in the city.

Fellow volunteers formed a guard of honour outside the church before the service began.

“He was a very staunch member of the People’s Kitchen, the New Lodge Youth Centre, Clothes for all, the 174 Disability project - he volunteered in them all,” said Fr Creagh.

The Funeral of  "superhero volunteer" Alex Duffy arrives at Sacred Heart Church on the Oldpark Road as the Peoples Kitchen and New Lodge Youth Club form a guard of honor. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN
Volunteers from The Peoples Kitchen form a guard of honour at the funeral of Alex Duffy. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN

“But most of all, he was the heart of his home.

“In his family he was the love that brought the family together, he was there at all times to cheer people up, to keep them right.”



The priest added that Alex “thought of others, he did not think of himself”.

“I asked the family to describe him and their words were very positive - loving, affectionate and generous son, a protective, loving and caring brother and brother-in -law,” he said.

“He was very much a positive influence, was always keen to help and he had an impact on the youth and that ripple effect of kindness went out right throughout the city centre of Belfast.”

The Funeral of  "superhero volunteer" Alex Duffy arrives at Sacred Heart Church on the Oldpark Road as the Peoples Kitchen and New Lodge Youth Club form a guard of honor. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN
The funeral of Alex Duffy. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN

Fr Creagh also told mourners: “When he was born, of course the family were worried how he would get on in life, how he would be accepted, how he would manage life with Down’s.

“But he proved that he was a great example of how someone with Down’s can do so much and can be an example to every single one of us of how life should be lived - in family, in friends and in society.

“He was quick witted with his one liners, and when things were tense, he always was there and if everything else failed, he said ‘what about a wee hug’.”

The Funeral of  "superhero volunteer" Alex Duffy arrives at Sacred Heart Church on the Oldpark Road as the Peoples Kitchen and New Lodge Youth Club form a guard of honor. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN
New Lodge Youth Club formed a guard of honour at the Sacred Heart Church. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN

Following the service, Alex was buried in Carnmoney Cemetery.

He is survived by his parents Linda and Patrick, brother Gary and family circle.

It is with the saddest of hearts that we post the devastating news that our beloved volunteer Alex Duffy passed away...

Posted by People's Kitchen Belfast on Sunday, 14 January 2024