The funeral took place on Friday afternoon of Mark Cullen, Trimragh, Letterkenny and formerly Newtowncunningham.
Mark died tragically the previous Monday.
In the homily at his Funeral Mass at All Saints Church, Newtowncunningham, Fr Kevin Gillespie spoke of Mark’s love for his wife, Donna, and their three young children.
“It’s important for us today without hesitation that Donna’s account of her life with Mark was one of love.
“If it is not too strong an image to borrow, he was the sun to her moon. The children, Luke, Kayla and Davin bright stars filling their firmament. He loved them with all his being, which makes this thing we are living through much harder to understand,” he said.
“Donna mentioned a moment that stayed with me these last few days of her snuggling in behind Mark on the couch, with the three children all gathered in his arms. This is Mark and we must identify him in that moment. His must be that memory.
“Of course, there was much more to him besides. Anfield and Finn Park were the great stadiums of his loyalty. The liver bird, the harp and the footballs his emblems. ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ – a fitting anthem that we must nor forget. This was the terrain that gave space for great friendships with young and old. He was happy having the crack with the lads and had no time for nonsense,” Fr Gillespie added.
“Liverpool fans have staying power, waiting through long years for the winning streak to return. They have a love of the game, loyalty to the club and to simple skill.
“Donna must be incredibly patient, because there aren’t many women who would allow turntables and techno dance in their attic. And the children must have been thrilled because they could never be louder than Daddy.
“These words of reflection today are but our gentle embrace and support of you, Donna, and the children as you walk these steps. Each and everyone here, and so many more who wish they could fill this place, would want to carry this burden for you. And yet, that strength will come within you.”
At the end of the Mass, Fr Gillespie had this message for the congregation.
“It is so important to be able to talk. There is nothing that cannot be overcome, nothing that cannot be talked through. It may require effort. It may require sacrifice and pain, but there is always a way forward.
“So let us have the courage to find that way and the courage to step out of what makes us comfortable to find the person who will help us along that way. Let us keep that in mind today and I’d say that especially to our men, young and old.”
Staff from the Penneys store in Letterkenny, where Mark worked for eight years, formed guards of honour as his remains were taken into the church and outside New Leck Cemetery in Letterkenny before he was laid to rest.
Mark is survived by his wife, Donna, sons Luke and Davin, daughter Kayla, parents Shaun and Janette, brother Dean and a wide circle of family and friends.
Sympathy is extended to all on their sad loss.