Northern Ireland news

Mourners at funeral of Jon O'Hara hear of his 'infectious, gregarious, warm personality'

Jon O'Hara died in the crash on Saturday

MOURNERS at the funeral of a man killed in a road crash tragedy in east Belfast have heard how he had an "infectious, gregarious, warm personality" and "lived a full life".

Family and friends of Jon O'Hara (47) gathered to say their final farewells at St Colmcille’s Church, Holywood yesterday as he was remembered as someone who "would do a good turn for anyone".

Mr O'Hara, who was originally from Portstewart, died in a collision involving two cars on the Ravenhill Road on Saturday night. A 32-year-old man has appeared in court charged in connection with the fatal crash, in which another man also died.

The father-of-three had been returning home from an Ulster Rugby match when the tragedy happened. Tonight a minute's silence will be held at the Kingspan Stadium in memory of the "lifelong Ulster fan".

Family and friends gathered for the funeral of Jon O'Hara at St Colmcille's Church, Holywood. Picture by Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Parish priest Fr Stephen McBrearty yesterday told mourners Mr O'Hara was "greatly loved" and "lived a full life", adding that his death was a "terrible tragic loss".

"He united many and he gave his heart to his family," he said.

Mr O'Hara's cousin Kevin spoke at the service, describing him as "one of the smartest people I ever met".

"He was a grafter and intelligent and he knew that the combination along with his talents that he would be successful," he said.

He said Mr O'Hara had worked in Cash Converter, DFS, Currys, Land of Leather, but "fulfilled a life-time ambition" when he and his partner Sarah opened up their own business, Dream Doors in Belfast.

"Jon knew a thing or two about a thing or two and had an opinion on almost anything.... he also won lots of awards that backed those opinions up," he said.

"To that end, he could talk to anyone about anything and sell snow to eskimos with his charm offensive."

He said his cousin, who was a keen golfer, "loved the underdog, the challenge, the positivity".

"Jon had an infectious, gregarious, warm personality - he was generous and an hospitable person in all aspects of his life and he would do a good turn for anyone," he said.

But Kevin said above all his cousin "adored and was so proud of his entire family".

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