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Stab victim Sean attends funeral of murdered pal

STABBING victim and boxing star Sean Turner was among the 2,000 people who attended the funeral of his murdered friend David Spain.

In the early hours of December 26 last, Spain was stabbed to death while Mr Turner also suffered serious injuries.

This morning, mourners paid their last respects to the "big hearted, kind and generous man" at an emotive funeral mass in Shankill, Co Dublin.

David (26) died just 10 weeks after returning home from Sydney to spend Christmas with his family.

The victim's devastated mother and father were among the first to discover their son's lifeless body on the side of the street – less than 100 yards from the family home.

A second man, Sean Turner (22), an accomplished professional boxer, was also stabbed in the same incident.

He was lucky to survive the attack, and had recovered sufficiently to attend today's service.

Asked how his recovery was going, he told the Herald: "I'm grand, doing grand mate."

By 9.30am, the church was already at near full capacity for the 10am funeral.

Such was the popularity of the victim that the funeral was streamed live over the internet so that his friends in Australia could view it.

Pals who were unable to get a space inside the church huddled together outside, in the bracing cold and watched proceedings on their iPhones.

A respectful silence fell over the mourners while his heartbroken mother and father, David and Iris, struggled to contain their grief as they walked with loved ones behind the coffin into St Anne's church in Shankill.Parish priest Fr John O'Connor acknowledged the devastation felt at David's death, commenting that he was a young man with so much life ahead of him.

One thing was constant throughout the chronicle of the young man's 26 years – his enthusiasm for life, he said.

SMILE

David was "your friend" he said, someone with a "warm smile".

"David didn't want to exist, he wanted to live," he added. He always had a big smile that matched his big heart".

He said the family told him that David had an "extraordinary desire to help and protect others".

"And that is the way David died. He died loving and protecting," he added.

"That surely says a lot."

hnews@herald.ie


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