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Dad of three who ‘doted’ on his kids died suddenly

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A doting dad-of-three died suddenly in an “absolute tragedy” that left his loved ones “completely heartbroken”.

David Finnigan, known as Dava by many, died on July 12, prompting a flood of heartfelt tributes which praised him for his “massive heart”.

The 35-year-old, from Wallasey, was a massive Liverpool FC fan and a music lover who enjoyed going to festivals.

READ MORE: Dad who heard sirens didn’t know daughter was dying in the road

His fiancée Lauren Mcnabb previously told the ECHO he was a doting father who idolised his children, Jim, 14, stepdaughter Eva, nine, and Frankie, two.

An inquest into Mr Finnigan’s death at Gerard Majella Courthouse today heard further tributes to the gas and heating engineer, who served the army in Afghanistan and helped run a grassroots football club.

The community hero was laid to rest on July 30, at Claremont Church, Sandy Way, Wallasey.

If you have been affected by any of the details mentioned in this story there are people who can help you.

Most people grieve when they lose something or someone important to them.

The way grief affects you depends on lots of things, including what kind of loss you have suffered, your upbringing, your beliefs or religion, your age, your relationships, and your physical and mental health.

Grieving is a totally normal process but there are way to get help if you need support.

Your GP is a good place to start. They can give you advice about other support services, refer you to a counsellor, or prescribe medication if needed.

Or you can contact support organisations directly, such as Cruse Bereavement Care (0808 808 1677) Samaritans (116 123) or Love Jasmine.

At today’s inquest Mr Finnigan’s mother said: “I’m very proud to have had him as my son and his sisters are very proud to have had him as a brother.”

Ms Mcnabb previously said : “He just had a massive heart – he would give you his last penny if you needed it.

“He idolised his kids and his mum and dad and he was just there for everyone.

“He loved his brother John and his two sisters Julia and Jane, Dava was the baby and they all used to laugh he was ‘the favourite’.

“He had so many friends, but they weren’t just friends, they are all like family, he adored them and they adored him.

“Dava was just a great person, a lovely person – he had the biggest smile and heart, he was everyone’s rock.”



Dava Finnigan with fiancée Lauren Mcnabb and children Jim, Eva and Frankie
Dava Finnigan with fiancée Lauren Mcnabb and Jim, Eva and Frankie

She added: “He was just so funny, he knew how to make me laugh when I was down.

“He loved his footy, he was a huge Liverpool fan and he loved going to festivals, really loved his music.”

Local Hoylake band The Coral also paid tribute to Mr Finnigan, in a tweet they said: “Dava Finnegan, one of the original and very best. You will be very much missed. Rest in Peace. X”

After returning from tours of Afghanistan with the army, Mr Finnigan re-joined Greenleas Juniors Football Club as a member of the committee and a manager, after playing for the club when he was a junior himself.

In a post shared at the time of Mr Finnigan’s death Vice chair of Greenleas JFC, Paul Miney said: “The club will be looking to support the family in whatever way we can to remember the positive impact Dava had on grassroots football and especially at Greenleas JFC.”

Friends and family took to social media to pay tribute to Mr Finnigan following the news of his death.

Sean Talbot, who had known Dava since the age of 11, said: “Very few people in life make you smile and feel warm every time you see them.

“Love your family like it’s their own, and whose family also treat you as one of their own. Since the age of 11 we have had this connection, I regret terribly, not seeing this coming, such a strong person, a soldier, a leader of men.

“I hope and pray that you knew how loved you were. I’m sorry we didn’t do more to help, I’m sorry we didn’t see the signs. When I sent you that date last week, that was to make sure you attended my wedding, as one of my best men.

“My heart is shattered and life will never be the same. I don’t think I will ever understand this, I love you brother.”

Olivia Mcnabb said: “I am in utter shock Dava. Thank you for making my sister so happy and being such an amazing dad.”

Tara Carrington said: “A friend like no other. I cannot believe you are gone. My heart is broken.

“You lit up every room you entered. You were the super glue that held us all together. You were strong and helped me through some of my my darkest days.

“You were one of a kind, I feel so honoured to have been your friend.

“My thoughts are with all of your beautiful family, who I love dearly. I will always be around for them.”

Helplines and support groups

The NHS Choices website lists the following helplines and support networks for people to talk to.

  • Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org.
  • Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
  • PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is an organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
  • Mind (0300 123 3393) is a charity based in England providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
  • Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
  • Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.
  • Young Persons Advisory Service provides mental health and emotional wellbeing services for Liverpool’s children, young people and families. tel: 0151 707 1025 email: support@ypas.org.uk

  • British Red Cross offers a free and confidential coronavirus support line on 0808 196 3651 which offers callers the opportunity to speak to a friendly volunteer for a chat if they are lonely, worried or need practical support, 7 days a week from 10am to 6pm, or email supportline@redcross.org.uk

Senior coroner for Liverpool and Wirral Andre Rebello today confirmed Mr Finnigan’s body was found by a member of the public on July 12 on Knaresborough Drive in Wallasey.

Passing a verdict of suicide, Mr Rebello said “there was no indication of a cause for concern” and that Mr Finnigan had recently booked a holiday.

Toxicology reports found a “small amount of cocaine” in Mr Finnigan’s blood which the coroner added “may have affected his judgement” at the time of his death.

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