The family of a man allegedly murdered in Lincoln have paid tribute to a ‘popular and sociable’ dad who secretly cooked for people stuck at home during the Covid pandemic.
Darren Munnelly, 46, suffered a fatal head injury after he was attacked on July 25 at a property in Carr Street in the early hours of the morning. An inquest into his death opened on August 2.
Declan Grant, 22, of St Mary’s Street in Lincoln was later charged with murder. He has been remanded in custody to appear at Lincoln Crown Court on August 31.
In a statement, Darren’s family – Billy, Karen, Sean, Jack and Cheryl – 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.
“Many people in the West End knew Darren, who had several interests.
“He was a really enthusiastic cook, and he put this to good use at the start of the pandemic. With so many people forced to remain in their own homes, Darren would cook a variety of things – curries, cottage pies, Irish soda bread, muffins – and then deliver them himself across Lincoln to help people out.
“He never told anyone he was doing it, but wanted it to be a surprise. After cooking the food, he’d put it in a backpack, get on his bike and deliver it.
“That was the mark of him – so generous, and so thoughtful to other people, such as in October 2017 when he raised £1,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support by completing Go Sober for October.
“Music was Darren’s life, and he loved singing. Known for wearing a goat-skin fur coat, he would sing at local venues and particularly enjoy 60s, 70s and 80s music – almost anything, in fact, apart from modern day tunes. Neil Diamond, The Beatles and Elvis Presley were among his favourites.
“Darren was also an avid sport fan, in particular his beloved Manchester United. He’d also play snooker with his son Sean, and won several titles including the junior championship of Lincoln two years in a row. We are honoured that the league is considering naming a trophy in his honour.
“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.”