Funeral of man killed in Zanzibar


The Christian message is needed more than ever to answer violent loss of life among young people, Co Wicklow priest Fr Liam Belton told about 1,000 mourners at the funeral of Robert De Courcey Stringer this morning.

Mr Stringer (26), from Newcastle, Co Wicklow, who had been working with an Irish charity which recycles computers for Africa, was found dead on a beach in Zanzibar, Tanzania, on August 7th, last. Police believe he may have been robbed.

Using loudspeakers set up around the churchyard to address the large congregation, Fr Belton said the violent deaths of young people "near and far" caused hearts to ache for answers.

Fr Belton said the young man’s death was “so cruel, it is very harsh” and said "the whole community is devastated by what has happened, Rob's untimely death".

Especially welcoming the many young people some of whom were members of the charity Camara, Fr Belton said Mr Stringer’s “family and friends, the parish, the wider community, Camara and Ireland” had lost a very generous young man. He urged them not to give up their charity work adding: “Keep up the good work that you do. To do it in Rob’s memory would be very important”.

Fr Belton recalled that "Rob" had been a server in the church where his funeral was being held, and that he and his mother had come to the church to pray before he set off on his charity work.

He had been "a true humanitarian" and had been working for the benefit of others when he was killed.

Fr Belton offered the sympathy of the entire community to the principal mourners, Rob's parents Keith and Josephine and his brothers Graham and Peter.

Mr De Courcey Stringer was found on a beach on Zanzibar, which lies 40 kilometres off the coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean.

He had suffered head injuries and his shoes and wallet were missing. A man has been arrested in connection with his death.