Community night in memory of Darren
There was huge support for The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust at a night held in memory of Darren White, the 35-year-old local man who died while on holiday abroad earlier this year.
A fantastic night, full of entertainment, took place in The Oak Tree Bar, Foulksmills, in memory of Darren, who died while on holidays in The Philippines. His remains were repatriated home and a huge crowd attended his funeral mass last month. The close knit community of Clongeen rallied around Darren's parents, Joe and Bernie, his sisters Jenny and Jilly and his brother Joseph in the weeks following his death, which rocked the community to its core.
Darren's family attended the function and the Bell family who founded the trust travelled from Newry to attend. An auction was held with John Murphy presiding over the sales.
Colin Bell spoke of the importance of community to a family going through such a heartbreaking time. Mr Bell and his family established the trust in memory of their son Kevin who died in New York in June 2013. This trust is now their legacy to help families bring home their loved ones who have died abroad. One of the organisers said: 'This trust brought home Darren from The Philippines where he died unexpectedly from a heart attack. They dealt with all the paperwork, flights etc. and paid everything for the family to get Darren home. In return we did this fundraiser to offer back some of the money to keep this trust going for other families who unfortunately this could happen to. On September 5 Darren died and he was the 94th person this trust repatriated, but on Saturday night Colin told us that he is now helping with his 110th family to repatriate a family member home.'
The respect for Darren's family which was shown on the night by the great numbers that attended showed true goodwill and generosity of spirit.
'We want to thank everyone who made donations, sponsored prizes, bought tickets and auction items. Thanks to the musicians and organisers.'