Glasgow & West Scotland

Glasgow helicopter crash: Funerals for Mark O'Prey and Gary Arthur

Order of service for Mar O'Prey's funeral
Image caption Hundreds of mourners turned out for the funeral of Mark O'Prey

The first funerals have taken place for Clutha bar customers who died in the Glasgow helicopter crash.

Hundreds of mourners attended a service for 44-year-old Mark O'Prey at St Bride's RC Church in East Kilbride.

Family and friends of 48-year-old Gary Arthur attended a service at Woodside Crematorium in Paisley.

Six customers inside the packed Clutha bar and the three people on board the Police Scotland aircraft were killed in the crash on 29 November.

The requiem mass for Mr O'Prey was led by Father Owen Ness, who welcomed mourners on behalf of Mark's family - his father Ian, mother Mona, sisters Louise and Barbara and son Liam.

He told the congregation that he had spoken to Mr O'Prey's father, Ian, about his fears and hopes for his son in the hours following the Clutha tragedy.

"Late on Saturday afternoon he told me those hopes were unfulfilled," Father Ness said.

He summed up the relationship between father and son by recounting a memory of a time when Mr O'Prey had called by unexpectedly to chat with his father.

"He now looks upon that as a gift in his life," Father Ness said.

During the Mass, readings were given by Ian O'Prey and Mark's sister Barbara.

A special prayer was said for Mr O'Prey's 15-year-old son Liam, whose mother Clare Gillies, his ex-partner, was also present.

Liam's teachers and school registration class were in church to support the teenager.

Father Ness spoke of the whole family's love for Mr O'Prey. He thanked mourners for their attendance, which he said gave the family great comfort.

Image caption Mr O'Prey's son Liam helped carry his coffin from the church

The congregation sang hymns including I Watch The Sunrise and Lead Kindly Light, and mourners took communion.

Liam was among those who carried his father's coffin out of the church as mourners sang the hymn Walk With Me, Oh My Lord.

Mr O'Prey's sister Barbara said a final farewell, laying her hand on the coffin while it was in the hearse.

'Heartfelt thanks'

The funeral cortege then departed to South Lanarkshire Crematorium for a service of committal, led by a police outrider.

Scores of mourners lined the streets in respectful silence as the cortege drove off.

Image caption The funeral service for Gary Arthur is being held in Paisley

Mr O'Prey's family thanked everyone for their attendance.

A message on the order of service said: "Mark's mum, dad and all the family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to everyone here today.

"The kindness shown not just by family and friends but from the nation as a whole has been of tremendous support to Mark's family."

The service for Mr Arthur at Woodside Crematorium in Paisley got underway at 13:00.

Mr Arthur was said to be a regular on the sidelines to watch his daughter Chloe play for the Celtic and Scotland women's under-19s football teams, and a minute's silence was held before Celtic's match against Hearts last week as a mark of respect to all the victims.

A statement from Mr Arthur's family read: "We loved him dearly and always will, we will miss him so much.

"We will continue to make him proud; he always tried to do his best for us and to be there for us. He was the best dad and it's devastating that our dad has been taken from us in such a tragic way."

On Saturday, the funeral for pilot Capt David Traill was held in Glasgow.

The other crew members who died in the incident were police constables Kirsty Nelis, 36, and Tony Collins, 43.

The four other customers inside The Clutha who died were Robert Jenkins, 61, Colin Gibson, 33, John McGarrigle, 57, and Samuel McGhee, 56.

An investigation into the cause of the crash is under way.