October 27th, 2016

Gallery: Funeral takes place of tragic teen Ronan Hughes

Northern IrelandBy Jamie McDowell

The funeral of Ronan Hughes has taken place in Clonoe, County Tyrone, today.

Hundreds of mourners turned out for the requiem mass at St Patrick's Church.

Parish Priest Father Benny Free, speaking at the funeral of the St Joseph's College boy, said that "faceless people" had taken Ronan's life.

He said: "Ronan Hughes, dear people, did not take his own life, for the life of Ronan was taken from him.

"And somewhere in the big world, perhaps very far from Clonoe, there's a man, or a woman, or a gang, who are guilty of a terrible crime."

He added: "While I wish that faceless man or woman no ill, that man or woman who lured this child into a web that took his life, I do pray with all my heart that they may be caught and that they might be brought to justice for the pain and the agony they have brought to the Hughes family.

"Ronan was young, he was beautiful. He had his whole life in front of him.

"But with youth comes its own fragility, and some people took advantage of his beauty and fragility.

"They exploited him and they broke him, and if they could do that to such a sensible fella as Ronan, they could do that to anyone."