Keith was a 'beautiful, sensitive young man'

Email:

clint.aiken@ulstergazette.co.uk

THE family of Keith Kelly, who tragically lost his life at an Armagh quarry last Sunday, has thanked the local community for its support.

Speaking on behalf of the family at Keith’s Requiem Mass, on Wednesday at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Fr Barry Matthews thanked all those who had attended and who had supported them over these past days, who have reached out to them in prayer and sympathy.

He added, “We keep in our prayers also the staff in Bluestone who looked after Keith.”

Opening his remarks Fr Matthew pointed out, “Last Sunday our church celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday, the first Sunday after Easter.

“In the year 2000 Pope John Paul II, now Saint John Paul II, noted this as a very special day of God’s mercy, the hour of mercy, three o’clock is a special moment in our church’s calendar when people all around the world come together to pray that God’s love may fill our hearts and that we may know and trust in God’s mercy and God’s love.”

He went on, “The tragedy which befell the Kelly family on Sunday can only be seen through the eyes of God’s mercy, through the eyes of God’s love. And I have no doubt that at that hour of mercy Keith was embraced by his loving God, his creator, his saviour and his friend.

“And I have no doubt that at that moment of mercy Keith truly received God’s mercy and God’s love deeply into his soul.”

Fr Matthew’s added, “We pray that like all those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith that he truly has received the crown of righteousness.”

He went on, “In these days many people have spoken of their memories of Keith, have spoken of the great sense of humour he had, his great encyclopaedic knowledge of music.

“Indeed his family remembers many of the great night’s craic that they had around the dining table with music quizzes which, of course, he always won.”

He said Keith’s family had written a brief tribute to him and they spoke of the great blessings he was filled with and the graces he was blessed with.

Fr Matthews said, “One of the graces that he was blessed with was his care for others, he worked for many years with the homeless community here in Armagh, work which truly touched the hearts of those less fortunate than ourselves.

“And I know as a family, you hold Keith so much in your hearts for the great care which he gave to your mum Maggie over the last 10 years of her life in your home.

“Unfortunately, Maggie can’t be with us today, but I’m sure that she is united with us in prayer.

“You spoke also of his great interest in politics and history and his great love for reading.

“I think all of this really holds true to the first reading, the Book of Ecclesiastes, where we read that for everything there is a time and that’s what these days are for,” he said.

“There are days where memories come to the fore, where stories are told and sometimes they’re told with laughter in our hearts, sometimes they’re told with tears in our eyes, but they are always told with love and with warmth.”

He went on: “We ask for God’s blessing on those who mourn Keith today especially his siblings. He was the youngest of five children.We pray also for those who have supported Keith over his life, especially his close loving family, the extended family and all those whose hearts he touched in life.

“A lovely line that Keith’s family finished their tribute with read, ‘Mostly Keith was a beautiful, sensitive young man who found the stresses of this world hard to bear’.”

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