Mourners at the funeral of a young Lisburn man who died in an off-road motorcycle accident heard how a large crowd gathered at the scene of the crash on the night he died to pay their respects.
Ryan Phillips was laid to rest today, a day after what would have been his 28th birthday.
He died on Sunday after two scrambler bikes collided on a laneway near the M1 park and ride at Sprucefield.
At his funeral in St Colman’s Church today, Father Paul Byrne told mourners: “Ryan has left us too soon.
“His death has left his family and friends and this community reeling.”
Fr Byrne spoke of the large turnout at the place where Ryan lost his life on Sunday evening.
He said: “His loss was made even more evident when I arrived at the scene.
“People of all ages and communities were there to support his mum and dad, Rita and Adrian.
“But they were also there for Ryan.
“They knew the worst had happened but still wanted to stay as close as possible to him on a cold and wet night.
“The compassion and concern that night shows human beings are capable of great things.”
Fr Byrne said on Sunday night at the scene of the crash he talked to people who “spoke with great affection about Ryan”.
He added: “There were smiles amidst the terrible sadness.
“Ryan would have been 28-years-old yesterday (Wednesday).
“He was an avid car enthusiast. He loved vehicles and machinery of all descriptions.”
He said that Mr Phillips’ favourite car had been his MG Midget.
Fr Byrne said: “When I called to the house you would often see him out cleaning the cars.
“His mother Rita said he would spot something that needed to be done around the house and get right down to the job. He also worked in Tesco doing his bit for the community.”
The parish priest said Mr Phillips was “capable of great affection”, adding “many people will have bittersweet memories of Ryan that will bring a smile to their face and a tear to their eye”.
He said that Ryan’s mother Rita would never forget him saying, ‘Love you, mum’ as he left the house for the last time.
Mr Phillips was a former pupil of Beechlawn School and South Eastern Regional College.
He is survived by his parents Adrian and Rita, sister Anne-Marie and brother Kieran.