Hundreds of people gathered for the funeral of a pub landlord.
Mourners packed St Margaret’s Church in Rottingdean yesterday (January 17) to bid farewell to Declan Mongey of The Plough Inn in Vicarage Lane.
The 43-year-old was found dead on the shore near Saltdean Lido on December 29. He is believed to have committed suicide.
Father Martin Morgan told a congregation of about 200 people: “This is a tragic day for us, that somebody was driven to where Declan was driven.
“We need to say not that we are angry about that. We need to say what an incredible guy he was.
“We have to celebrate Declan’s uniqueness, to celebrate his life. If you were around Declan a laugh was never far away.”
He said the charity fundraising Declan had spearheaded at the pub had changed the lives of young people.
The pub won an Argus Achievement Award last year after raising £18,000 for causes, including Help for Heroes and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Mr Mongey set out to create a community feel at The Plough, backing events like Smugglers Night and the Rottingdean Boxing Day Pub Challenge.
Karl Baker, Declan’s partner, said they were planning to have a civil partnership ceremony on November 11.
They had been together for 14 years, moving to Rottingdean three years ago.
He said: “He made so many friends here, I know he would be overwhelmed by the love and support they have shown.
“His youthful enthusiasm was infectious and his love of life knew no bounds.”
Mr Mongey was found dead three days after a Boxing Day fight at the pub. Police had arrested and bailed him over claims a 52-year-old woman broke her arm when she was punched and pushed.
Friends said he was innocent but was worried about the allegation.
The Brighton and Hove Coroner is expected to hold an inquest on March 27.