Some in shock and some in tears, all heartbroken - hundreds of young people gathered near Lurgan for the funeral of Tiernan Green.
St Patrick’s Church in Derrymacash was crammed and hundreds more stood in the grounds outside for the 20-year-old’s Requiem Mass.
“He was someone who radiated love”Fr John Byrne
Tiernan passed away suddenly at his home on Tuesday from an asthma attack.
Around two dozen of his friends formed a guard of honour, many unable to hold back their tears.
Fr John Byrne spoke of the shock as news of the popular young man’s death filtered through to the community.
“Numbed by its suddenness, we cannot understand it and we have so many questions but no answers, no satisfactory explanation,” he told the congregation.
“We didn’t want to believe that the Tiernan we loved so much had passed away.
“There is a huge emptiness in so many hearts because Tiernan, who we knew and loved, has been taken away from us and it seems so unfair.
“Tiernan was young and full of life. He was in the prime of his life and there is a certain temptation to say that if he had been elderly then his death would have been easier to accept.
“It is no wonder that we gather here in such large numbers in our devastation.
“What can we do? How can we cope?” said Fr Byrne.
“He was a remarkable guy by all account. He was quiet by nature but in the company of his mates he let himself go and he was the life and soul of the party. He was gifted with a sense of humour and was very friendly.
A former pupil of St Francis Primary School and St Paul’s High School, Lurgan as well as a recent student at Southern Regional College in Armagh, Tiernan was about to take up a new job in security next week.
“The future was looking very bright for him. How can we, on this day, take it all in,” he said.
Fr Byrne spoke of how Tiernan had a great time for his family, his mother Donna, father Stephen and siblings Stefan, Mise-Eire and Ryan. He spoke of his love for games, and the endless fun he had with his youngest brother Ryan on the play station.
He also spoke of Tiernan’s love for his girlfriend Lauren which he described as unsurpassed. They were born within days of each other and they probably cried together when they were born. “But they were destined to be together from they were 15-years-old,” said Fr Byrne.
The priest told mourners of Tiernan’s love of football, having played for Sarsfields Under 16 GAA team and his love of travelling.
“He also loved his music, from rave, rap or gansta or traditional and M&M, you name it, Tiernan loved it all and enjoyed it,” he said.
“The suddenness of his passing is frightening.
“It is important that we remember all that he did, all that he gave, all that he was.
“He made an impression because he was unique.
“Tiernan, from Irish, means Little Lord. He might have been little some time ago but he grew up to be a lad of great stature.
“He was someone who radiated love.
“Truly it is very hard to accept what has happened. No words will comfort his family and we end up wondering, what can we say?
“Our presence here is a credit to Tiernan. Tiernan touched so many and so many are with us here today,” he said.