Hundreds turn out for funeral of GAA star and popular school vice-principal.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Hundreds turn out for funeral of GAA star and popular school vice-principal. thumbnailThe funeral of Tyrone GAA star Christopher `Crico' Colhoun.

The 34-year-old vice-principal of St Patrick's Primary School in Donaghmore has been laid to rest following his tragic death.

Christopher 'Crico' Colhoun died last Monday after battling flu for a number of weeks.

He had only been appointed vice-principal of the school in the summer and was a talented footballer, winning the Ulster Intermediate Championship with Pomeroy Plunketts shortly before Christmas.

Clonoe came to a standstill last Wednesday for his funeral at St Patrick's Church as mourners turned out in large numbers to pay their respects.

Members of his GAA club stood shoulder to shoulder around his coffin, while wife Lisa walked beside his coffin with their two young daughters Beth and Grace.

Pomeroy Plunketts members provided a guard of honour to Mr Colhoun's coffin as he made his final journey.

Children from St Patrick's PS stood in silence, while Primary Four pupils displayed a floral tribute, which read: "Have a safe journey to Heaven".

Originally from Pomeroy, Mr Colhoun married Lisa more than four years ago. They lived in Clonoe.

Parish priest Fr Benedict Fee said he had officiated at the couple's wedding as well as baptising their two children.

"The very reason this painful privilege falls to me is that it was my sweet sublime privilege to be with Lisa and Christopher the Easter Tuesday they were wed, a mere four-and-a-half years ago, the last day that Lisa choked back tears in this chapel, the tears of joy that her man from the mountains was marrying Lisa the lassie from the lowlands," he said.

"And together on that day they pledged to love each other truly, for better, for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health all the days of their life.

"And in the midst of our Easter joy that day, none knew how few those days would be." Fr Fee said that "life was good for Christopher - he had his family, his football and he had his teaching too".

"He was so proud when he was appointed vice-principal of St Patrick's Donaghmore." The priest told how a "river of tears" had been shed for the loss of Mr Colhoun.

"Today as we mourn him greatly, we remember the rich legacy of the over two million dollars he has left to Lisa and to all the Colhoun and McAliskey clan - one million is called Grace and the second million is called Beth," he said.

Christopher was laid to rest in the adjoining church cemetery, with teammates from the Plunketts club again standing together with arms interlocked around the grave.

He is the fourth person already this year to have passed away from the flu, with the Public Health Agency confirming that 231 people this year have already been diagnosed with the flu group that includes the so-called 'Aussie Flu'.


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