GRIEVING mourners gathered in an Irish church last night on the eve of the funeral of Olympic boxer Darren Sutherland, found dead in his London flat a week ago.
The fighter who clinched bronze at the Beijing games was discovered by his manager Frank Maloney last Monday.
Among those at the short service in St Mary’s Church, Navan, were his grieving parents Tony and Linda and sisters Nicole and Shaneika.
Other mourners include Olympic athlete Eamonn Coughlan and Football Association of Ireland chief John Delaney.
Fr Declan Hurley, parish priest, said no words could express the tragic loss felt by Darren’s devastated family: “We sympathise with you on such a terrible loss.
“We cannot find the words to express anything that will be of comfort at this time.
“And so we pray that our presence here might be a source of comfort and consolation for all of you.”
As the coffin was brought from Fitzsimons Funeral Home to the church, a small number of people lined the street.
A framed photo of a beaming Darren with his bronze medal and a painting of him with his nickname “The Dazzler” written on top, rested by the altar in the chapel.
Prayers were offered for his family and mourners paid their respects at the end of the ceremony.
The funeral Mass takes place this morning at 11.00, with burial at St Finian’s Cemetery.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved