FAMILY and friends of Joby Murphy lined the streets of north Belfast for the 20-year-old’s funeral on Thursday, March 1.
The Glengormley man’s body was recovered from Belfast Harbour after he fell into the water following a night out with friends in the city in January.
After 30 days of searching, his heartbroken family were finally able to say their final farewells to the Elmfield man at a service in Holy Family Church on Belfast’s Limestone Road.
On Thursday his family arrived at the church holding single red roses and to the strains of a lone piper, as members of Ophir RFC - of which Joby was a member - formed a guard of honour.
A photograph of Joby sat at the front of the church along with an Ireland rugby shirt, a poem written by his sister Fiona, and a toy meerkat in tribute to his nickname ‘Meerkat’.
Among the mourners were members of the search teams which had helped find Joby.
Father John Forsythe from St Mary’s on the Hill parish con-celebrated the Mass with Father Colin Crossey.
Fr Forsythe said: “The shock and sadness of Joby’s death is a reminder to us all of how easily snapped is the cord of life.”
He said Joby’s death had come as the result of a “lethal cocktail of events that produced overwhelming catastrophic outcomes.”
Fr Forsythe also thanked all those who had helped with the search efforts to find Joby after he fell into the harbour.
He added: “Joby died before his time and his passing seems like such a waste of all the goodness he might have brought into the world.
“As his faith community we pray for him, but we also must learn valuable lessons about what has happened.”
Joby was buried at Carnmoney Cemetery. He is survived by his parents Joe and Katrina, brothers Kevin, Martin and Joel, sister Fiona, and girlfriend Karen McKeever.