Funeral held for Tyrone man who died aged 34 from heart condition

Derek Walker
Derek Walker

Roughly 20 pipe band members turned out in uniform to act as a guard of honour at the funeral of a tragic fellow bandsman.

Clad in blue shirts and tartan kilts, the members of Manorcunningham Pipe Band of Co Donegal paid tribute to Derek Walker, who had played with the group.

A farmer, and world championship-winning drummer, Mr Walker died of a heart condition aged 34.

The funeral service was held at Drumquin Presbyterian Church, to the west of Omagh, at 1pm on Friday.

After the service, attended by an estimated 500 mourners, a lone piper led them to the nearby graveyard and played as he was interred.

Rev John Hanson conducted the service, accompanied by Free Presbyterian minister John Morrow (reflecting the fact Mr Walker’s parents belong to that denomination).

He said that Mr Walker had developed his interest in bands since the age of three, when he started drumming on a bucket held around his waist by its handle.

He added that in August 2004 Mr Walker won a drumming award at the World Pipe Band championships with Gortaclare Pipe Band.