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Family and friends gather in Sydney to remember ‘beautiful soul’ Sean

'Sean's departure leaves an immense void in our lives but the memories we share will continue to warm our hearts for ever'

Sean McConville Collegeland

A young Co Armagh man who died suddenly in Australia has been remembered for his “infectious laughter, zest for life and unwavering loyalty”.

Sean McConville, from Collegelands, passed away on Sunday, July 9 in Sydney. He had been living and working in Australia for the past four-and-a-half years.

His remains are due to arrive home tomorrow (Thursday) with the funeral at St Peter’s Church, Collegelands, on Saturday.

A candlelit vigil, led by a local parish priest, has also been held at La Perouse in Sydney.

A large crowd holding blue and white balloons, some of them shaped like hearts, gathered to remember Sean and listen to tributes to him.

Among them were Sean’s mum Doreen, sister Bronagh and brother Martin, who had travelled over to Sydney.

Bronagh said the family, including dad Peter who had stayed at home to “hold the fort”, was “completely overwhelmed” with the support shown to them both in Australia and back home in Ireland.

Struggling to hold back tears, she said: “Sean worked, lived and partied with many people during his time here in Australia. We are delighted so many people have experienced Sean’s character and got to know him so dearly.

“He made so many best friends as well as meeting the love of his life, Nicole.

“Sean was such a handsome gentleman who was so wise beyond his age. This is a heartbreaking loss of a beautiful soul who had so much more life to live and explore.”

Dave French, one of Sean’s friends, also read a tribute, saying Sean’s “infectious laughter, zest for life and unwavering loyalty touched the lives of all of us”.

He said he embraced life with a passion and his love for his friends “knew no bounds”.

He added that one of Sean’s great passions was his dirt bike which brought him a “great sense of liberation”.

“Sean’s departure leaves an immense void in our lives but the memories we share will continue to warm our hearts for ever,” he said.

A table at the front bore a photograph of Sean, candles, flowers, areligious statue and a mini toy digger.

At the end of the vigil, the balloons were released, symbolising the “setting free” of Sean’s spirit, and those present were invited to sign a book of condolence.

Meanwhile, his mother Doreen wrote on her Facebook page, “My beautiful baby boy sleep tight”,  while brother Martin said, “I will always miss your wee smile”.

Sean’s remains will be arriving home tomorrow (Thursday) at approximately 3pm. The house is open to all until 12 noon on Saturday.

Removal will be at 1:30pm to St Peter’s Church for 2pm Requiem Mass with interment afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

The family has requested family flowers only, with donations in lieu if desired to the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust.

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