David Hanna: Bessbrook dad whose Majorca death was a ‘terrible shock’ laid to rest

The death of a man on holiday five months after his father’s death came as a “horrible shock” to the community, his funeral has heard.

Our members gathered yesterday at Bessbrook Presbyterian Church to pay their last respects to David Hanna, 53, who died in Spain last month.

The family previously described the incident in the pool at the Globales Palmanova hotel in Mallorca, which killed him, as “a tragic accident”.

People at the service heard the father of three described by Rev. Norman Smyth as “a man of simple pleasures” whose eulogy focused heavily on Mr. Hanna’s roots in Bessbrook.

“Today we remember the life of a loving father, son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, colleague and friend,” said Rev. Smyth.

“David was the son of Beth and Billy and he only had to share their affection with one sister, Cheryl, with whom he was closely bonded throughout his life.”

He recalled growing up in the village and attending the local elementary school before going to Newry High School.

His first job was in an aerospace factory in Kilkeel. He then entered the civil service, where he worked for three decades.

In recent years he has also worked as a caretaker at Banbridge Academy.

Because there were two Davids on the staff, another name had to be found for him to avoid confusion, mourners heard.

“It turned out to be ‘Swingo,’ I think after the brand of floor polishers he used a lot,” added Rev. Smyth.

The minister expressed his condolences to Mr Hanna’s family, including Cheryl, who was traveling to Spain with her brother and partner.

Mourners heard Mr Hanna had a passion for motorcycles, gardening and fitness sessions at the gym.

Rev. Smyth added that he was “very much looking forward to his holiday in Spain”.

“David’s sudden departure at such an unexpected moment is a terrible shock not only to his loved ones but also to the entire community,” he said.

“It’s surreal that it happened on July 17th, exactly five months to the day after Billy’s death.

“His greatest love was not for the interests I mentioned, but for the family he was blessed with in Rachel, Sophie and Jake.

“You loved him very much, too.”

Concluding, Rev. Smyth said, “The family would like to thank everyone who has comforted them with so many cards and messages of support.”

It was initially believed that Mr Hanna had passed out in the hotel pool, but his daughter said he could not swim.

Two local children, Corey Aughey, 6, and 19-month-old Freddie Joseph Briggs, also died in swimming pool-related accidents in Spain this year. David Hanna: Bessbrook dad whose Majorca death was a ‘terrible shock’ laid to rest

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