Hundreds of mourners lined the streets of Cloughoge village in Newry, Co. Down on Saturday to pay their respects to tragic New York hit-and-run victim Kevin Bell.
A champion Irish dancer, Bell moved to New York in August 2012 and had been working in the construction industry.
The 26-year-old Irish immigrant died in the early hours of June 16, after being hit by an unknown vehicle. After a night out with friends in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, he reportedly lay down in the middle of a busy road in the Bronx at around 3:30 am before he was hit by an oncoming car.
He leaves behind his parents, Collie and Eithne, a twin brother Brendan, three other brothers and two sisters.
After news of the tragedy broke, family and friends, including the GAA community rallied around and raised £42,000 ($64,000) to pay for his repatriation.
A fun run in Newry organized on Friday night attracted over 1,000 people and raised a further £16,500 ($25,416) according to the Newry Times.
His father Collie Bell paid tribute to those who have helped out.
He said: “We, the Bell family are so grateful to all those who are organizing events and fundraisers to support us in this terrible time.
“We would like it to be known that we intend to continue to fundraise in the future, in Kevin’s name, and that all surplus money will be used to help families who are visited by similar tragedies. We know that Kevin will not be the last.”
The Belfast Telegraph reports that members of the local GAA club formed a guard of honor as his coffin was carried into Sacred Heart church.
Meanwhile an employee of the Medical Examiner's' office in New York has been suspended after he placed Bell’s remains in a van full of bottle-filled recycling bags.
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