Community in shock

Stephen McCusker
Stephen McCusker

Hundreds of mourners gathered last week to remember a 26-year-old Craigavon man Stephen McCusker.

Mr McCusker, a former pupil at Lismore, died suddenly at his home in Drumellan Court last Thursday January 16.

His mum Mary McKeever, (nee Kelly) said the whole family are devastated at his death and hurt by rumours that he had taken his own life.

“He died in his sleep,” said his mum. She said there had been a post mortem carried out on her son which at this stage was inconclusive. However, there is no suggestion he took his own life.

His girlfriend Natasha is due to give birth to their first child in two weeks - a little girl they had already named Lauren Sinead McCusker.

So popular was Stephen that his Facebook page was flooded with messages from young people who were devastated at his sudden death. And hundreds more attended a packed St Anthony’s Church on Monday. Stephen’s ‘crew’ (pictured above) gathered later at their favourite Craigavon bridge to toast and remember their young friend.

“He was a fantastic son. He was very kind and he loved children,” said Mum.

His grandmother Kathleen Kelly said: “You never saw him without a smile. He even had a smile in his coffin.” Stephen’s mum added: “He loved dancing and body popping and acting Michael Jackson. He loved Manchester United, Celtic and Armagh. He was a great son,” she said.

A friend Connor Ruddy said: “He was a gentleman a really funny character. He was a real comedian.”

The family would like to thank the PSNI and the Paramedics who came out that day. Also the priests of the parish, Deacon Gerry Haughey, Mr and Mrs Thomas Greene and sons Legahory, Paper Chase, Edward St, Katy’s Place Legahory, The Stables Bar, Eire Og, Drumellan Community Association and particularly The Crew and his beloved dog Chucky.

He is survived by his mother Mary, father Peter, brothers Damian, Mark, Gerard, sisters Shannon, Naomi and Emma, grandparents Kathleen and Francie Kelly and his girlfriend Natasha. After his funeral Mass Stephen was buried at St John’s Cemetery, Drumcree in Portadown. Stephen’s Month’s Mind will be held in St Anthony’s Church, Brownlow on February 15.

Police said they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a 26 year old male in the Drumellan Court area. “The death is not being treated as suspicious.”