Anthony was ‘a kind and good-hearted brother, son and father’

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The funeral of murder victim Anthony McErlain has taken place in his hometown.

The Ballycastle man was laid to rest on Monday afternoon surrounded by all his friends and family

During the service in St Patrick’s and St. Brigid’s Church, mourners heard how the 48-year-old was “a kind and good-hearted brother, son and father who has been tragically taken too soon”.

Mr McErlain was killed in an upstairs flat in the Broomreg View area on January 28. A 33-year-old man has appeared in court charged with his murder.

At his funeral, Mr McErlain was described as someone who “could hold a conversation with anybody about anything”.

The parish priest told mourners: “To his family he was Anthony, to friends Akki and to many others who he met across his travels they knew him as Tony.

“When he was a fit, strong, young man you couldn’t have met a harder-working person. The times in McKeague’s Concrete in Dunloy were some of the happiest years of his life.

“He worked on the Channel Tunnel and across England and Ireland - you wouldn’t have known where he would turn up.

“Anthony was an intelligent man. He could hold a conversation with anybody about anything and took a real interest in the world he lived in.

“This was expressed by many people who would have contacted his sister Rosemary throughout the years from wherever he found himself. He was always sure to give Rosemary’s phone number as a trail back to the family as reassurance.

“Rosemary, as much as anyone, knows the pain and suffering which Anthony was inflicted with and was always there for him, travelling from one end of the country to the other to make sure he was safe and warm.

“He had the love of a large and strong family which is exemplified by his brother Aidan who was a constant source of strength and support to Anthony, also thinking nothing of travelling from one end of Ireland to the other to make sure he was OK.

“No matter what troubles Anthony was facing personally, he never, ever forgot about the daughter he loved so much. He was always talking about Kerri and wished things could have been different for them.

“Anthony lived a life of many twists and turns. His journey was filled with many happy and difficult moments. He reached many crossroads but he was a proud man and never failed to get up and try and change the situation he was faced with.

“Anthony battled against the difficulties which life seemed to throw at him without losing his sense of humour. Or his desire to take on the bookies!

“The family are grateful to all those from every corner of the country who were there for him through the good times and the bad. May he rest in peace.”