Brother of Co Down murder victim Aidan Mann tells mourners his killing 'didn't need to happen'
THE brother of Co Down murder victim Aidan Mann yesterday told mourners at his funeral that his killing "didn’t need to happen".
Speaking at a humanist service in Bangor, his younger sibling Lewis also described how his brother was "one in a trillion" and "the best person on the face of the earth".
Family and friends gathered at S Clarke and Sons funeral home for a celebration of the life of the popular tattoo artist, with tributes describing him as "a big gentle soul".
The 28-year-old died after being stabbed as he left his flat in Downpatrick on January 3.
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 Sailors and Scoundrels Tattoo Parlour in Newtownards before he died.
Ahead of the start of the service, images from Mr Mann’s childhood were played on a large screen with the theme music from the film, 'Titanic' played as his coffin was brought into the building.
The service featured several of Mr Mann's most loved songs, including music from his favourite group, My Chemical Romance.
Mourners heard of the young man's love of art, boats, creating murals and dressing up as a young child. His brother Lewis told of how there were "absolutely no words to describe my brother".
"I have sat with my brother and had time alone with him, and I said to him 'I’m very good at my words, and I can’t find the words for Aidan'," he said.
"You say people are one in a million - Aidan was one in a trillion and he was my protector, he was my older brother...we did so much together and we had so much planned together.
"I told everybody that I knew that I didn’t care if they liked tattooing or not, Aidan was the best tattooist in Northern Ireland and I was so proud, I still am, so proud of him.
"He built me up to be the person that I am and I’ll continue to try and adapt some of Aidan’s mannerisms, but nobody could, no-one on planet earth could."
Lewis also said: "He was a big, gentle soul, me and my brother had a bond and I loved him very much and we had so much planned together, but he’s getting a beautiful send off with beautiful people and beautiful friends.
"Everything is beautiful, he would be so proud and so happy of everyone."
Addressing the tragic way in which his brother had died, Lewis said: "I loved him so much, this didn’t need to happen.
"He was the best person on the face of the Earth. You couldn’t have got a better person than Aidan."
Following the service yesterday, Mr Mann was laid to rest in Clandeboye cemetery in the town.
A 36-year-old man has appeared in court charged with Mr Mann's murder.