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Tributes paid to man (41) who died in 'freak accident' during Dublin storm


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Tributes have been paid to a Northern Ireland man who died after a "freak accident" in Dublin.

The funeral of Ronan Rafferty (41) from Coleraine was held yesterday at St Malachy's Church in Co Derry.

SDLP councillor Stephanie Quigley said Mr Rafferty's unexpected death had shocked the local community.

"I'm told there had been a storm in Dublin and he was on a pier when the accident took place but it's unclear exactly how it happened," she said.

"It was a huge shock. He had been very well, happy-go-lucky and a very gentle, kind and tender-hearted man.

"This was a freak accident and came completely out of the blue."

Mr Rafferty was the son of Michael and Patricia and the brother of Angela, Fidelma, Michael, Niall, Aidan, Ciara and the late James.

"The funeral service was one of the biggest I've ever seen in the parish," Ms Quigley said.

"He was deeply loved, had a great sense of humour and obviously his parents are heartbroken. Both of them are in shock, but he was so well thought of and there were people of all ages at the service.

"We heard how full of life he was, enjoying surfing and snowboarding and living to the full. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family."

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