A FUNDRAISER has been launched to help the family of a Newcastle man, who died unexpectedly in Canada last week, just hours after arriving to visit his son and grandchildren. Described as ‘the most important man’ in his loved ones’ lives, Kieran Beattie landed in the country, for his much-anticipated trip, at the start of last week. He had planned to spend three weeks with son James, daughter-in-law Amber-Lee and their three young children however, after enjoying a few hours with the grandchildren that night, he was found by his son the next morning (22 November). The 59-year-old is understood to have passed away in his sleep. Arrangements are being made to bring the muchloved father-of-six and grandfather to eight home, with a friend launching an online fundraiser to help his grieving family with funeral costs as they come to terms with their sudden loss so close to Christmas. As Mr Beattie’s loved ones endure the wait to have him brought back across the Atlantic, thousands of pounds have been donated to the appeal, which has a goal of raising £7,000. Last night the figure sat in excess of £6,200. Anyone visiting and contributing to the GoFundMe.com page, entitled ‘Let’s get Kieran home’, will read how Mr Beattie was a helpful man and a great friend to many.
Aine O’Sullivan, the woman who set up the appeal, and who is a close friend of the now heartbroken family, who are also being assisted by the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, said Mr Beattie was well known in the community for going out of his way to help others. Acknowledging that his children ‘have just lost the most important man in their lives’ Aine wrote: ‘No doubt if you’re reading this he’s perhaps helped you in some way. Kieran worked all his life helping others moving house or collecting furniture or taking you to the airport. If you needed anything it was Kieran you first thought of. He was a great friend to many,’ she explained. ‘He always had a smile on his face and with his wisecrack jokes brought a bit of laughter to anyone and will be missed dearly.’ Turning her attention to Mr Beattie’s desire to visit Canada, something which had been delayed due to the pandemic’s travel disruption, Aine said Kieran decided he was going to fly to Canada to see James and his family ‘just in time for Christmas.’ She continued: ‘He was so excited. Kieran got to have one evening with his son and grandchildren but with deep sadness the next morning his son found him passed away.’ In her appeal for help, Aine outlines that the motivation for setting up the online fundraiser ‘is to help get Kieran home from Canada and to help his children with funeral costs so close to Christmas.’ Mr Beattie’s sons and daughters ‘just want their dad home so they can lay him to rest’ and that in terms of donations ‘no amount is too little and any amount is gratefully appreciated’, Aine concluded. Although details of his funeral have yet to be finalised, a death notice posted by a local funeral director said Mr Beattie, who had previously lived in Killyleagh, will be remembered as a loving father of James, Joseph, Patrick, Aisling, Cieranne and Mary-Louise, as well as a dear father-in-law to Amber-Lee, a cherished grandfather and much loved brother.