Murder victim Nathan Gibson was 'savagely stolen in the depths of the night' says priest

A sea of red followed the funeral cortege of murder victim Nathan Gibson who was 'savagely' murdered almost two weeks ago.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 2:29 pm

At St Anthony's Church in Craigavon, a short distance from where the 25-year-old father of one was brutally killed, his fiancee Joanna Black received applause after reading a heartbreaking poem in his memory.

Nathan was killed almost two weeks ago close to Craigavon Lakes. One man has been charged with murder.

Joanna, hobbled on crutches, her leg in a cast, behind the coffin of her childhood sweetheart as a very young crowd of family and friends walked to the Craigavon church for his funeral this morning.

Funeral of Nathan Gibson, leaving Westacres, Craigavon, today. Nathan's body was discovered on a towpath near Lake Road in Craigavon by police on Thursday, January 16. Mourners were asked to wear red in tribute to Nathan's love for the Liverpool. Photo Laura Davison/Pacemaker Press

Most were wearing Liverpool or red tops - a nod to the football club Nathan adored. His young son John's Liverpool top also bore the word 'Dad' while others' shirts had the words 'Uncle' or 'Brother'.

Nathan and Joanna's six-year-old boy was supported by Nathan's brother as he brought the Offertory Gifts to the Altar.

The priest Fr John Byrne said: "We are mindful of the hurt and the sorrow of the family, of Joanne and John and all who loved him."

He said that at times like this, when someone so young is taken from us, there is only one word 'Why'.

Nathan Gibson

"And with Nathan, why did it have to happen? Why did it have to happen now?

"Today we are gathered to celebrate Nathan's life - a young man savagely stolen in the depths of the night," he said.

He described a happy young man who had initially gone to St Brendan's Primary School and then Lismore Comprehensive.

"Throughout his childhood he was known for his sense of humour - always telling a joke.

Funeral of Nathan Gibson, leaving Westacres, Craigavon, today. Nathan's body was discovered on a towpath near Lake Road in Craigavon by police on Thursday, January 16. Mourners were asked to wear red in tribute to Nathan's love for the Liverpool. Photo Laura Davison/Pacemaker Press

"Some would say he was still a child - and that stayed with him right up to the end. He was in his mum's eyes the golden boy.

"From school he moved on to catering in Portadown and he met Joanna, nearly ten years ago now at the Red Bridge not so far from here.

"The arrival of John six years ago was very, very special to them."

After the funeral, Nathan's remains were brought to Lylo Cemtery for burial beside his mother Gail who died in 2015.

Funeral of Nathan Gibson, leaving Westacres, Craigavon, today. Nathan's body was discovered on a towpath near Lake Road in Craigavon by police on Thursday, January 16. Mourners were asked to wear red in tribute to Nathan's love for the Liverpool. Photo Laura Davison/Pacemaker Press

Nathan's passing is very deeply regretted by his partner Joanna, father Anthony, son John, brothers Craig and Tariq, sisters, Cathy and Shantelle, Uncles, Aunts, Nephews, Nieces and entire family circle.

Funeral of Nathan Gibson, leaving Westacres, Craigavon, today. Nathan's body was discovered on a towpath near Lake Road in Craigavon by police on Thursday, January 16. Mourners were asked to wear red in tribute to Nathan's love for the Liverpool. Photo Laura Davison/Pacemaker Press