Co Antrim man collapsed and died at wife’s funeral

St Mary's Church in Cushendall. Photo from Google Street Images
St Mary's Church in Cushendall. Photo from Google Street Images

A Co Antrim village is in shock after the death of a well known man at his wife’s funeral.

James McAlister died at the graveside of his wife Kathleen on Wednesday after she had been laid to rest in St Mary’s Church in Cushendall.

He is understood to have taken ill and collapsed as he was shaking hands with those offering their condolences.

Efforts were made to resusitate him by several mourners, including a ‘first responder’ defibrillator team.

Former Sinn Fein MLA Oliver McMullan who was at the funeral said it was a terrible tragedy.

He said Mr McAlister and his wife, who passed away on Monday, were both in their seventies.

“They were extremely well known in the area and the funeral was very well attended,” he said.

Mr McMullan, passed on his sympathies, adding: “I knew them both very well. It’s a terrible shock for their family and the whole community. It’s a tight knit area where everybody knows each other.”