Northern Ireland news

Mourners at funeral of Barney Eastwood hear him described as one of 'brightest stars'

The funeral of Barney Eastwood took place in Holywood. Pictured front are Danny Juma and Mr Eastwood's son Peter. Picture by Mark Marlow

MOURNERS at the funeral of boxing promoter and bookmaker Barney Eastwood heard him described as one of the "brightest stars".

Leading figures from the world of sport were among hundreds of people who gathered to celebrate the life of the legendary businessman in Holywood, Co Down.

Hugh Russell, Dave 'Boy' McAuley, Oscar Checa, Danny Juma and Ray Close were among former boxers at St Colmcille's Church.

Parish priest Fr Stephen McBrearty told mourners that Mr Eastwood would be remembered for his "kindness, his generosity and humbleness".

Barney Eastwood died aged 87 on Monday. Picture by Hugh Russell

The 87-year-old, originally from Cookstown, Co Tyrone, died on Monday following an illness.

He built up a bookmaking empire which was sold off for a reputed £135m in 2008, but it was as a boxing promoter that he was best known, managing some the biggest names in the sport including former world champion Barry McGuigan.

The funeral of Barney Eastwood takes place at St Colmcille's, Holywood, Co Down. Pictured is Frances Eastwood the wife of Barney Eastwood. Picture Mark Marlow.

During the Requiem Mass many memories of his boxing days were recalled.

Fr McBrearty, who told of how he had got to know Mr Eastwood over the past six years, also said the businessman was a proud family man.

He said he was a "great husband to his wife Frances, to his children, to his 23 grandchildren and to his 15 great grandchildren".

The funeral of Barney Eastwood takes place at St Colmcille's, Holywood, Co Down. Picture Mark Marlow.

BBC sports broadcaster Jim Neilly, a friend of Mr Eastwood for more than 40 years, gave a eulogy on behalf of his family.

He told how Mr Eastwood "had much to celebrate" in his life "but what he celebrated most was his family and his friendship".

"The show must go on and of course the show will go on, but it will go on, alas, without one of its brightest stars," he said.

The funeral of Barney Eastwood takes place at St Colmcille's, Holywood Co Down just outside Belfast. Pictured is Dave Boy McAuley. Picture Mark Marlow.

Mr Eastwood was laid to rest at Redburn Cemetery. He is survived by his wife Frances, daughter Fiona and sons Brian, Peter, Adrian, Stephen and Fearghal.

The funeral of Barney Eastwood takes place at St Colmcille's, Holywood, Co Down. Pictured are boxers Neil Sinclair and Eamon McAuley. Picture Mark Marlow.

The funeral of Barney Eastwood takes place at St Colmcille's Holywood Co Down. Pictured is former Eastwood fighter Hugh Russell. Picture Mark Marlow.

The funeral of Barney Eastwood takes place at St Colmcille's, Holywood, Co Down. Pictured is Mary Peters. Picture Mark Marlow.

The funeral of Barney Eastwood takes place at St Colmcilleâ??s , Holywood Co Down just outside Belfast. Pictured is former Eastwood fighter Ray Close. Picture Mark Marlow.

The funeral of Barney Eastwood takes place at St Colmcilleâ??s , Holywood Co Down just outside Belfast. Pictured is Mike Nesbitt. Picture Mark Marlow.

The funeral of Barney Eastwood takes place at St Colmcille's, Holywood, Co Down. Pictured is Frances Eastwood wife of Barney Eastwood. Picture Mark Marlow.

The funeral of Barney Eastwood takes place at St Colmcille's, Holywood, Co Down. Pictured front are Danny Juma and Barneys son Peter. Picture Mark Marlow.

The funeral of Barney Eastwood takes place at St Colmcille's, Holywood, Co Down. Pictured is Oscar Checca. Picture Mark Marlow.

The funeral of Barney Eastwood takes place at St Colmcille's, Holywood, Co Down. Pictured is 'The big Bopper' Harry McGavock Picture Mark Marlow.

The funeral of Barney Eastwood takes place at St Colmcille's, Holywood, Co Down. Pictured is legendary fighter and trainer John Breen. Picture Mark Marlow.

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