EXCLUSIVE: THE remains of a Belfast barber who tragically fell to his death just hours into his sunkissed Spanish holiday were flown home yesterday.
And it has cost the family and friends of grand dad Gary ‘Chub’ Lavery £17,000 to have his remains flown back as his holiday insurance didn’t cover the cost.
‘Chub’ Lavery accidentally fell to his death from a balcony just three hours after landing in the Costa Brava on Monday, October 16.
Known in the Andersonstown area of west Belfast as ‘Chub’, Mr Lavery ran a barber shop and was described as a “popular character”.
A friend said: “‘Chub’s’ remains were flown home yesterday (Friday). It is a sad time for everyone.
“His travel insurance didn’t cover the expense so his family and friends had to raise £17,000 to bring hime home.
“The money was got together pretty quickly which meant we could bring home.
“It is a big relief for his family and many friends that ‘Chub’ is finally coming home. It is almost two weeks since he died.”
It is believed Mr Lavery was leaning over the balcony of his second floor apartment when he fell to his death.
His brother Stevey said he got a phone call to say ‘Chubb’, who arrived in Spain at around 9pm, had fallen two storeys from the balcony just before midnight.
“They worked on him for a while but they couldn’t do anything,” he explained.
Gary was a grandfather to two little boys, and his mum Betty Lavery said the whole family is extremely close.
“He just loved every minute of his life with the kids… We did not get on like children and mummies. We were very, very close, we could talk about anything to each other.
“He had a heart that size,” his mother added, holding out her arms.
Mrs Lavery said the 44-year-old barber, who owns Blades shop on the Andersonstown Road, was well-known in the west of the city.
She called him a “the legend”.
“He was very popular and well known and very good to everybody,” she said, “Anybody was in trouble they all went to the shop
Brother Stevey added: “He will be sorely missed. “He pulled a few people out of a few holes.”
Requiem Mass will be held on Tuesday, October 30, at 10am in St Agnes Catholic Church on the Andersonstown Road.