Funeral takes place for drug death backpacker

Martin Stephen Hale, who died in Cambodia. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Martin Stephen Hale, who died in Cambodia. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

The funeral of backpacker Martin Stephen Hale, who had recently been living in Banbridge, was held on Friday, July 8 at St Patrick’s Church, Lisburn.

Mr Hale, 34, known as Marty, died a fortnight ago in Cambodia from a suspected drugs overdose in the Happy House guest house in the capital Phnom Penh.

Mr Hale, a father of two, had been travelling around south-east Asia for 10 weeks, and had met up with friend Dean McWilliams (22), from Antrim.

Mr Hale was a father to Cora and Shauna.

Speaking at the time of Mr Hale’s death on June 1, his mother Teresa Temple said he had died from a cardiac arrest after taking tablets believed to contain morphine.

She added that she had previously tried to warn him of the dangers of drug abuse.

Mr Hale’s family were assisted by the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust in bringing his body home to Northern Ireland.

The funeral from Mr Hale’s home took place at 9am followed by prayers and Requiem Mass at St Patrick’s Church, Chapel Hill,at 10am.

His remains were interred at Holy Trinity Cemetery.

Mr McWilliams was taken to Calmette Hospital in an unconscious state during the incident but discharged himself and returned to the guesthouse to collect his belongings.

He was later located near the British Embassy.