'shock' Family of Wexford cyclist Mark Flood pay tribute to 'light of our lives' at funeral
"Our hearts are broken. We miss you more than you know"
Wexford businessman Mark Flood, who was laid to rest on Thursday, was described as the best father and friend anyone could have at his funeral service.
Hundreds gathered at St Mary’s Church on the hill overlooking the town he loved, for a celebration of the 63-year-old’s life.
Having died in a freak accident on Sunday when his bike was struck by a gate near Ballywilliam in New Ross, the town came out to bid farewell to one of its favourite sons.
Rev Ivan Dungan said the respect Mark and his family hold within the community was reflected in the large attendance at the church and wake. He called on the congregation to pray for and support Mark’s mother Vera, wife Mary, daughters Rachel and Sarah, sons in law David and David, grandson Elliott and all of family.
"We are all still in shock. Five days ago Mark was a fit and healthy man doing what he loved doing, riding his bike with his friends and today we are preparing to commit his body to the ground.”
Rev Dungan spoke of Mark’s faith and how he surrendered his life to Jesus many years ago.
"We mourn one who is so suddenly snatched from us without the chance to say goodbye.”
Mark’s wife Mary and daughters Rachel and Sarah performed the readings, with Sarah paying tribute to her "awesome dude" of a father.
"Dad, what can I say? You are the light of our lives, our heart and soul, our rock. You were the kindest, sweetest, most loving, humble, awesome dude; just simply the best Dad.
"Our hearts are broken. We miss you more than you know. I treasure all of the precious memories. I love you more than love. Until we meet again.”
Rachel recited a poem written by her cousin Juliette: “Mark, Dad. A heart as good as gold/As pure as silver and as strong as diamonds/Goodness melted down and poured into our hearts/He is forged in all of us - like a ring, eternal.”
Rachel added: "What a privilege to have you as a Dad”.
Mark’s brother-in-law John paid tribute to Mark, saying it was three years previously when he stood in the same church following the death of his wife Sonia, Mark’s sister.
"I stand here in shock with a sense of numbness. I met Mark 50 years ago, aged 12. He was like a younger brother to me.”
Recalling the pleasantness of the man, he said people were weeping in the street and at the wake; such was the love of his friends and fellow businesspeople for him.
"It’s just amazing the effect he has had on so many lives. There were many facets to the life of Mark. He was a perfectionist in all that he did. He wasn’t satisfied with second best in business, fitness, the routine, the dedication to detail.”
He recalled an organiser, someone who got things done, from his business at Brooks on Charles Street, to family holidays.
"Nothing was ever left to chance. Mark was one of the most honest people I have ever met and probably the nicest person. He was always turned out to the last. He couldn’t do scruffy.”
He spoke of the strength of Mark’s marriage. “They were joined at the hip from the time they started dating. Every day working together, soul mates.”
He said Mark forged a special bond with his grandson Elliott during lockdown.
And highlighted the foundation of Mark’s strength of personality, his faith. “He didn’t wear his religion on his sleeve. He loved and accepted everybody.”
John said it was inexplicable what happened to Mark. “In our rational mind we cannot square that circle, it’s so painful.”
Rev Ian Cruickshank spoke of Mark’s deep faith and how he was one of the few who attended every time the church opened for prayer during lockdowns, when it was closed for services.
"The beautiful thing is you have your memories of Mark. For his family, his work colleagues, his cycling buddies, you have this fondness and grief because Mark is no longer with us.”
Scores of Barrow Wheelers cyclists stood in an arc outside as Mark was laid to rest, club jerseys draped across their shoulders.
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