Undertaker moved by tragedy of young man's death pays for funeral

Den McIlwaine went missing on 13 July and his body was found nine days later


A funeral director has offered to cover the cost of burying Dean McIlwaine without any charge after being so moved by the tragedy.

Stephen McCosh, who is based on the Shankhill Road in Belfast, says he was so touched by the popular 22-year-old's death that he felt he had to do something for the family.

He said his gesture was to "allow them to grieve for their son" without the stress of having to arrange and pay for his funeral.

Dean's family are understood to have accepted his kind offer.

Stephen told Belfast Live : "I offered my services to Dean's family via a private mail through a family friend.

Dean McIlwaine was last seen alive on July 13

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"I initially intended it to be between me and them with no one needing to know until I woke up to find it on Facebook.

"But that's more a testimony of how Dean has been taken to by so many people, most of which are like myself and didn't know him, but wished and prayed he walk back through the family door.

"When the news broke I felt awful inside. As a father I looked at my kids and thought, 'how would you feel if your son was missing 10 days?'.

"The worry and hell they must been going through. Then to get the dreaded news that nothing could prepare them for.

"What I've offered can never take the pain and turmoil away that this family are dealing with.

"But it can take away the stress, strain and burden and allow them to grieve for their son in these exceptionally difficult circumstances."

The death of Dean McIlwaine, from Newtownabbey, came after a lengthy and agonising search for the much-loved barber.

He had been last seen on July 13 and hundreds of people turned out to support his family in their search for Dean.

It ended in heartbreak on Saturday (July 22) when his body was discovered following a search at Cave Hill.

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