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Rest in peace Daz

PUBLISHED: 18:19 23 September 2009 | UPDATED: 10:43 12 August 2010

The removal procession of Irish Olympic Boxer Darren Sutherland makes it's way to  Saint Mary's Church Navan Co.Meath tonight.
Photograph: Aidan Crawley  20 September 2009

The removal procession of Irish Olympic Boxer Darren Sutherland makes it's way to Saint Mary's Church Navan Co.Meath tonight. Photograph: Aidan Crawley 20 September 2009

THOUSANDS gathered for the funeral of Olympic boxer Darren Sutherland as his body was flown home to his native Ireland. Family and friends stood united in their grief alongside politicians, sports stars and fans, all mourning the death of the middleweig

TRAGEDY: Darren Sutherland who took his own life

THOUSANDS gathered for the funeral of Olympic boxer Darren Sutherland as his body was flown home to his native Ireland.

Family and friends stood united in their grief alongside politicians, sports stars and fans, all mourning the death of the middleweight fighter, who tragically took his own life at his flat in Bromley on September 14.

Mr Sutherland's parents, Tony and Linda, and his sisters, Nicole and Shaneika, led the mourners at the funeral, held on Monday at St Mary's Church in Navan, where the 27-year-old grew up.

Speaking at the service, Father Declan Hurley made reference to the sad circumstances surrounding the death and said it was impossible to find meaning in words of comfort.

He added: "Our silence betrays a deep uneasiness as we all ponder the question, why?

"The question we hesitate to ask out loud because we know it is a terrifying question and we fear that there is no answer."

Mr Sutherland, who won bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was found hanged by boxing promoter and friend Frank Maloney, who subsequently suffered a minor heart attack. The 55-year-old was unable to travel to the funeral of his young protégé because of his health. He is now recovering at his Chislehurst home.

Mr Sutherland lived with Mr Maloney, his wife Tracey, 42, and their two daughters for four months after moving from Ireland and signing to Maloney Promotions.

Speaking to the Times last week, Mrs Maloney said: "We are absolutely devastated. Nobody could have predicted what was going to happen. We are distraught."

"He had a good sense of humour and he loved going out and about.

"Darren got on with everyone. It couldn't have happened to a nicer person- it's a total shock."

Friend Mark Smith, 25, who grew up in the same area of Dublin with the troubled boxing star, told the Times: "I knew him for years and I worked with him for over a year in D2 nightclub. Everyone got on with him. He had a way of dealing with people as if he knew them all his life.

"He was fitness mad and we used to go to some random parties. It was always great craic. My thoughts are with his family now and, whatever was eating him up, I hope he is at rest now. Rest in peace Daz.

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