Family and friends will gather today at the start of a touching two-day send-off to celebrate the life of Lincoln dad Darren Munnelly, as the murder investigation into his death continues.
Darren, 46, suffered a fatal injury after he was attacked on July 26 at a property in Carr Street, Lincoln in the early hours of that morning. An inquest into his death opened on August 2, during which his cause of death was confirmed as a head injury.
Declan Grant, 22, of St Mary’s Street in Lincoln was charged with murder and was remanded in custody to appear at Lincoln Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing on August 31.
Darren’s funeral will be streamed on YouTube here on Friday, August 27 and his son Sean Falkinder previously asked people to share his social media post with details of the celebration of life event.
There will be a small reception into St Hugh’s Church at 6pm on Thursday, August 26 before a few drinks on the Common and in the Queen In The West pub. The funeral will take place at the same church at 11am on Friday and the burial after the service will take place on Long Leys Road. People will then gather at the Castleward Club from 1pm.
Darren’s son Sean said in his social media post “all parts on both days are open to everybody who want to pay their respects, nothing is exclusively for family only”.
Sean also set up a fundraiser, which raised £2,252 towards the charity Headway Lincolnshire, which supports local brain injury survivors.
He said: “First of all, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody for all of your love and support over the past few weeks. It’s been clear to see that Darren touched many lives and we have been truly humbled by the influx of messages, cards and the lovely flower display on Carr Street.
“Whilst the flowers will soon need to be removed, all of our memories of Darren will live on forever.
“Having been contacted with regards to flower arrangements from many friends, we would like to make a suggestion of family flowers only and should friends want to make a more permanent gesture, we have decided to create this page for donations towards “Headway Lincolnshire”.
“Under the worst circumstances, Darren unfortunately passed after receiving extreme head trauma. Our chosen charity, Headway-Lincolnshire, supports victims and families within the county whose lives have been devastated by brain injury.
“Should you wish to donate, but would prefer to do so with cash, we will provide donation boxes at the wake venue. We have not set any targets for the donations as any amount will be extremely helpful for Headway Lincolnshire to continue their great work. Donations are not obligatory and we are grateful for your presence alone to celebrate Darren’s life.”
Darren’s family – Billy, Karen, Sean, Jack and Cheryl – previously paid tribute to a ‘popular and sociable’ dad who secretly cooked for people stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
They said: “Darren was such a friendly, popular and sociable man who was so kind to others. He grew up in the West End area of Lincoln, and was a really friendly person.”
Darren cooked food and delivered it to people in need across Lincoln during the coronavirus pandemic. He was described by his family as being “so generous and so thoughtful to other people” and he raised £1,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support by completing Go Sober for October in 2017
The 46-year-old loved music and singing and was known for wearing a goat-skin fur coat. He was also an avid sports fan and supported Manchester United, and also loved to play snooker with his son Sean.
His family added: “He was such an outgoing, well-liked person who could liven up any party and was a lot of fun. He was also so proud of his Irish roots.
“Since Darren’s death, the support we’ve received from the local community has been amazing with so many cards, text messages and flowers.
“We’d like to say thank you to everyone for their generosity, love and support. We’d also particularly like to thank those from Lincolnshire Police, Lincoln County Hospital, the paramedics who initially treated him, Victim Support and Father John Kyne. You have all supported us so much. Darren will always be missed. He was irreplaceable.”