Northern Ireland news

Aidan Mann remembered at special car event ahead of his funeral today

Aidan Mann died after being attacked in Downpatrick on January 3

CO Down murder victim Aidan Mann was yesterday remembered at a special car event ahead of his funeral today.

Car enthusiasts gathered at Nutts Corner, near Crumlin, in honour of the 28-year-old, who died after being stabbed in Downpatrick last week.

Originally from Bangor, Mr Mann had just left his flat on Church Street when he was attacked on January 3.

A popular tattoo artist, Mr Mann was known by friends and those in the tattoo business as 'Zen Black'. He had moved to Downpatrick late last year and had been working in the Sailor and Scoundrels Tattoo Parlour in Newtownards before he died.

Also a keen car enthusiast, Mr Mann was remembered yesterday by friends who met at the Co Antrim outdoor circuit.

Members of the Nutts Corner-based 'Underground Diffing' (car drifting) group said it had been organised the memorial event as Mr Mann was a "good friend of UGD".

It said he was "a keen fan of the Nutts Corner yard and a keen follower of our meets around the country even going down to the Bundoran annual meet in 2021 and staying down the Saturday night for a beach party".

It added that "Aidan will be sadly missed by all who knew his presence and his cheeky witt and jokes".

The event came ahead of Mr Mann's funeral, which is due to take be held today in Bangor.

The service is to take place at S Clarke and Sons funeral home at 10.30am followed by burial in Clandeboye cemetery in the town.

Posting details of her son’s funeral on Facebook his mother, Sonja Mann, urged those affected by his killing to "celebrate Aidan’s life in your own wee way".

Meanwhile, a JustGiving page set up to "help cover the costs of Aidan's funeral and life celebration" has raised more than £7,000

The page described Mr Mann as "one of the most interesting, caring and passionate humans about".

"An accomplished artist in many forms but most notably tattooing," it said.

"People say it was talent and Aidan did make it look easy but there was a lot of hard work, studying and practise that went on behind the scenes".

The page added that while Mr Mann was "one the best tattooists in Northern Ireland", he "remained humble" and "always willing to teach or help others and share knowledge.

"The tattoo community has lost a legend," it said.

"Aidan dedicated their life to art and will now live on forever through it."

A 36-year-old man has appeared in court charged with the murder of Mr Mann.

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