Family whose son died in US helps to bring another tragic young man home
THE parents of a young man killed in a hit-and-run in New York have covered the cost of repatriating another young Irishman's body home to his family.
Collie and Eithne Bell, from Co Down, who lost their son Kevin (26) in a tragic incident in New York last June, have been helping other families through a trust in his name.
The fund has now been used to bring home the body of Conor Brady (24), from Skreen in Sligo, who died after a fall in Las Vegas last weekend.
He was based in Washington, DC, and had travelled to Las Vegas with friends.
So far, over £120,000 (€143,000) has been raised for the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust. It offers financial assistance to bereaved families to repatriate the body of loved ones who die abroad in sudden or tragic circumstances.
Mr and Mrs Bell have helped repatriate three other young people and helped two other families with their own fundraising.
Collie Bell said they were delighted to help the Brady family.
"The average cost of repatriating a body is about £5,000 (€5,900), but the further away the location, the more expensive it is," he told the Irish Independent.
"As we said at the time, with so many young people now abroad, Kevin's death would not be the last.
"Sadly, this has proved to be the case. We'd like the message to get out that the trust is here to help families in all 32 counties."
Funeral director Gerard Clarke, a close friend of the Brady family and Secretary of St Patrick's GFC – where Mr Brady played before emigrating – said the Bell family deserved "great credit" for helping others.
"It is the worst news that any family can receive to learn that a son, daughter or relative has died abroad," said Mr Clarke.
The Brady family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Kevin Bell trust.
"We hope that in this way we will be able to help another unfortunate family," said Mr Clarke, who praised the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Irish Consulate in San Francisco for their help.
Thousands of mourners are expected to attend the funeral Mass of Conor Brady in Saint Adamnan's Church in Skreen at noon on Monday, followed by burial in Saint Mary's Cemetery.
Donations to the Kevin Bell trust can be made at www.donations.ie.