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Noisy send-off for Inverness businessman who died after street row


By Louise Glen

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John Birrell.
John Birrell.

A FLEET of motorcyclists will provide a noisy send-off for an Inverness dad who died after a row in the street.

The family of respected businessman John Birrell, a motorbike enthusiast, who died last month, are calling on fellow bikers to make some noise after his private funeral service this Friday.

The bikers have been asked to join a funeral cortège from Culduthel Road to Kilvean Cemetery.

Mr Birrell died aged 55 on August 17 after an altercation in the street with his neighbour.

Dr Hamish Towler, a retired surgeon from Blackpark, Inverness, has been charged with culpable homicide.

Posting on Facebook, Mr Birrell’s family said: “John’s funeral has been confirmed on Friday at noon at William T Fraser in Culduthel Road. Due to Covid restrictions, numbers are limited to family and close friends, so I would like to invite all our customers, friends and fellow bikers to join us in a funeral procession of bikes to follow him to Kilvean cemetery, meeting at around 12.30pm for leaving at 1pm.

“Let’s make as much noise as possible in celebration of his life and love of motorcycles.”

The family and his colleagues held a small commemoration of his life by hosting a socially distanced afternoon tea at his North Coast Customs motorbike workshop in Carsegate Road North last week.

Afterwards they posted: “A huge thanks for all your positive and lovely comments on John this week, we are still coming to terms with losing him.

“We will endeavour to continue to make him proud and continue to make the business grow and be more successful in the future.”

Asking people to continue to visit his business, the post added: “So please feel free to come see us as normal and help celebrate his one big life , thank you.”

The family has asked for donations to the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK.

Anyone who would like more information on the cortège should contact North Coast Customs on 01463 233124.



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