Cookstown runner's sudden death was 'unbelievable' says parish priest

Mourners attending the Requiem Mass of Cookstown runner Fergal Mulgrew today heard him described as a "true gentleman."

Sunday, 16th October 2016, 2:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 8:03 pm
Fergal Mulgrew was a talented runner

Parish priest Fr Patrick Hughes said Fergal's death was "unbelievable" and came as a great shock to his family and the wider community.Several hundred attended Mr Mulgrew's funeral in Church of St Mary, Dunamore, today not far from his late residence."He was all into his sports but he was also family orientated," said Fr Hughes. "He was a devoted son to his parents Gerry and Brigid and sisters Sinead and Roisin, who will miss him dearly."Mourners heard that 40-year-old Mr Mulgrew had been training for the Dublin Marathon later this month.It is understood that he suddenly became ill while finishing a circuit with a friend in the remote Davagh Forest in the Sperrin mountains outside Cookstown.He is believed to have collapsed in the car park and, despite the best efforts of his friend and medics, did not regain consciousness."One does not expect someone like Fergal, who was so fit, to die," said the parish priest."He worked overseas as a joiner in recent years and he came from a large family circle of Mulgrews and Loughrans."Fr Mulgrew asked mourners to remember the family in their prayers at this difficult time.Members of Acorns Athletics and Kildress GAC were among those who turn out to pay their final respects.There have been many tributes to Mr Mulgrew posted on social media since his death.Acorns AC chairman Trevor Wilson the club had the pleasure of knowing Fergal through a shared passion of running."He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word, an inspiration to many but above all else, our friend."We will take great comfort and strength from having him our lives."