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Funeral tribute to Sean McMahon who excelled as a doctor, friend and family man

Dr Sean McMahon fell ill at South Lakes Leisure Centre in Craigavon and later died
Dr Sean McMahon fell ill at South Lakes Leisure Centre in Craigavon and later died

The Cullyhanna man who worked at Craigavon Area Hospital died after taking ill at the health and wellbeing suite of South Lakes Leisure Centre.

His funeral took place today in St Patrick’s Church, two days after he was meant to marry his fiancé Debbie.

His cousin Barry Quinn said: “We have all cried so many tears for Sean since we heard the awful news on Tuesday.

"I grew up metres from Sean and his family, he was one of seven, I was one of nine. We lived at the top of the hill, Sean at the bottom.

“There were so many parts to Sean that touched so many lives.

“He didn’t really care what walk of life you came from, he treated everyone the same always with a warm smile, a familiar friendliness and a cheeky giggle.

“There was the family man Sean, the great craic friend Sean, later in life what Sean matured into was fantastic doctor Sean.”

Mr Quinn said: “Sean was stuck into everything, he was always out on the farm with (his father) Charles and (his brother) Terence, he played (Gaelic) football for Cullyhanna, he was very dedicated to the club, he was a great man for socialising.

“Despite all those good nights out, he got great grades and ended up going to university to study medicine.”

Sean's cousin said: “Sean and Debbie should have been married two days ago at the Lough Erne. It was to be a celebration of their love for each other.

“[They] were together for nine years, they met in a very romantic place in Belfast … a chip shop.

“She walked into a chip shop at the end of a night out and Sean was holding audience at the front of the shop. No doubt he was giving somebody a bit of bad manners, he would tread that line between clean banter and a bit of bad manners.

“In came Debbie who was able to put him back in his box.

“Sean was full of banter, he would talk to a wall. He was never really short of confidence.”

He said that Sean and Debbie’s chip shop romance blossomed and he was looking forward to his new life as part of a happily married couple and moving back to Cullyhanna where he was building a house.

Mr Quinn went on to say that having been childhood friends their path realigned as they were both working in medicine.

He said: “Sean really excelled as a doctor. I’ve had so many doctors who have contacted me, praising his character, his ability to stay calm under pressure – he really, really was that good.

“It’s really so sad to know that while Sean is not with us. What Sean has taught me is to be happy with what you have as he was, be patient, be kind to others, love your family and friends – that’s really all that’s important in life.”