Tragic death of young Letterbreen man (23)

Bobby Hughes who worked in Tesco with Matthew signs the public book of condolences inside the entrance to the store.

Bobby Hughes who worked in Tesco with Matthew signs the public book of condolences inside the entrance to the store.

By Gareth McKeown
A FAMILY has been left heart-broken and a community stunned after the sudden death of 23-year-old Matthew Alexander Topping from Letterbreen.

The former Devenish College pupil and Tesco employee died on Wednesday, March 18 at the South West Acute Hospital of natural causes.


Matthew was the son of Trevor and Edna, Derryscobe, Letterbreen, devoted brother of Claire and Amanda and much loved uncle to Nicole, Zoe and Alex.

Staff at Tesco, where Matthew had worked since the store opened in 2007, led the tributes to a friend “with an unwaveringly positive outlook on life”.

Personnel Manager at the store Anne Marie Rice said the staff were all shocked and deeply saddened at the news of Matthew’s death. She explained that Matthew had recently attained a supervisor role in the store, which he was immensely proud and enthusiastic about.

“Matthew was a very well-mannered and pleasant person who always had a smile on his face and a positive attitude.”

She continued, “Matthew was a pleasure to work with and will be sadly missed, but never forgotten by all of us.”

Tesco Dotcom Manager Oisin Bermingham was Matthew’s manager for three years and could not speak any higher of him.

“He was a joy to work with. Always happy and smiling with an unwaveringly positive outlook on life. He was part of the fabric of Tesco Enniskillen and will be forever missed.”


Friend and colleague Karen Elliott will always remember Matthew as ‘the quiet man’.

“He was a quiet, modest young lad. Matthew was very much into his computer and loved buying all the latest games.”

She remembers Matthew’s ‘bubbly’ sense of humour and like all her colleagues, will miss him dearly.

A large crowd attended Matthew’s funeral service in Mullaghdun Parish Church on Sunday afternoon, where the Rev Geoffrey Bridle paid tribute to the lasting impression left by Matthew.  He noted that through his positive attitude and magnetic personality Matthew attracted a wide circle of friends, not just in Fermanagh, but across the world through his love of online gaming. The minister thanked the staff at the South West Acute Hospital who fought valiantly to save Matthew’s life.

He closed by saying: “The fact that so many of you are here this afternoon is a tribute to the sort of person that Matthew was and the very positive influence that he had on your lives.

“And no doubt the qualities that he imparted to so many other people will live on as a testimony to his short but influential life.” The service  was followed by burial in the adjoining churchyard.

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