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Family plan funeral of ‘talented’ young doctor Sean who was due to get married tomorrow

A sister of Sean's heartbroken fiancée, Debbie, said: "Life is so so cruel. Please watch over our Debster."

Sean McMahon Cullyhanna

A young County Armagh doctor who died in hospital after earlier collapsing in the fitness suite at the South Lakes Leisure Centre in Craigavon had been due to get married on Friday.

But instead of the celebrations such an occasion brings, the heartbroken of family of Dr Sean McMahon are preparing to lay him to rest on Sunday instead.

The loss of the 31-year-old has sent shockwaves across the community.

On Friday, he was to have wed a nurse, Debbie Jameson, in her native County Fermanagh.

His fiancee’s sister, Chloe, revealed the hurt and heartache which his tragic passing on Tuesday had wrought.

“Forever my brother-in-law,” she wrote on social media. “The smartest most caring doctor, always putting others before yourself.

“Life is so so cruel. Please watch over our Debster.”

Dr McMahon was an anaesthetic at Craigavon Area Hospital. And it was there that he passed away on Tuesday evening, having taken unwell at the nearby leisure centre.

ABC Council, which owns South Lakes, said Mr McMahon had “collapsed and became unresponsive” at around 8pm on Tuesday.

“Staff on duty were quick to respond performing CPR until the Ambulance service arrived,” said an ABC Council spokesperson.

But she confirmed: “The gentleman was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital where he passed away.”

Dr McMahon was a past pupil of Abbey Grammar School in Newry, and further his education at Queen’s University in Belfast.

While he was from Cullyhanna, he had been living in the Craigavon area, close to where he worked.

His employer, the Southern Health Trust, paid its own tribute, describing him as a “highly respected and “valued” member of the anaesthetic team, who had been “working in the locality which he knew so well and had settled in”.

A spokesperson, in a statement, added: “As a colleague and friend, the shock of Sean’s sudden passing is a great loss to all in the Department. He will be sorely missed.

“Our thoughts are with his fiancée, parents, brother, sisters and wider family circle.”

There have been further tributes from within the hospital itself.

One described him as a “valued colleague” who will be “greatly missed”, and added: “A true gentleman and a talented doctor…Heart goes out to Sean’s family and friends.”

Another added: “Devastated to hear the passing of Sean. What a lovely person and fantastic doctor and colleague. Thinking of all his family and fiancée at this time.”

Dr McMahon’s funeral will take place in his native Cullyhanna.

Murray Funeral Directors have confirmed details of the arrangements.

A death notice describes the popular young doctor as a “treasured son of Charles and Frances, loving fiancé of Debbie and devoted brother of Terence, Edel, Aideen, Seárlait and Sarah-Louise”.

He is reposing at his family home at 9 Oldtown Road, BT35 0JP, from tonight (Thursday). The house is private on Thursday for family only, but visitors are welcome to pay their respects on Friday and Saturday.

The funeral will take place on Sunday, leaving the family home at 10.30am, for Requiem Mass at 11.30am in St Patrick’s Church, Cullyhanna, after which he will be laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery.

Family flowers only have been requested, but donations in lieu are being accepted for Acute Services across the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, where “Sean’s profession and career was devoted to”. These can be made c/o family or via Murray’s Funeral Services.

To the entire family circle, we offer our heartfelt condolences on your tragic loss. RIP.

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