Death stuns community

Stephen McCusker
Stephen McCusker

A 26-year-old Craigavon man, who was due to become a father in two weeks’ time, died suddenly this week.

Stephen McCusker, a former pupil at Lismore, and whose family originates from Portadown, died suddenly at his home in Drumellan Court last Thursday. He was buried at St John’s Cemetery, Drumcree, this week.

His mum Mary McKeever (nee Kelly) said the whole family is devastated at his death and hurt by rumours that he had taken his own life.

“He died in his sleep,” said his mum. She said there had been a post-mortem carried out on her son which at this stage was inconclusive. However, there is no suggestion he took his own life.

His girlfriend Natasha is due to give birth to their first child in two weeks - a little girl they had already named Lauren Sinead McCusker.

So popular was Stephen that his Facebook page was flooded with messages from young people who were devastated at his sudden death. And hundreds more attended a packed St Anthony’s Church on Monday. Stephen’s ‘crew’ gathered later at their favourite Craigavon bridge to toast and remember their young friend.

“He was a fantastic son. He was very kind and he loved children,” said Mary.

His grandmother Kathleen Kelly said, “You never saw him without a smile.

“He even had a smile in his coffin.”

Stephen’s mum added, “He loved dancing and body popping and acting Michael Jackson. He loved Manchester United, Celtic and Armagh. He was a great son.”

A friend Connor Ruddy said, “He was a gentleman, a really funny character. He was a real comedian.”

The family thanked the PSNI and the paramedics who came out that day. Also the priests of the parish, Deacon Gerry Haughey, Mr and Mrs Thomas Greene and sons, Legahory, Paper Chase, Edward Street, Katy’s Place, Legahory, The Stables Bar, Eire Og, Drumellan Community Association and particularly ‘the crew’ and his beloved dog Chucky.

Police said they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a 26-year-old man in Drumellan Court.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious,” they said.