Carryduff fire victim remembers being ‘a wonderful dog trainer, great company and a true gentleman’

THE victim of a fire in the southern suburbs of Belfast was remembered last night as ‘a wonderful dog trainer, great company and a true gentleman’.

Tributes have been paid to David Marshall, who was well known in dog training circles in Northern Ireland, after his tragic death at his home in Carryduff.

A friend said that “if a human crosses the rainbow bridge, David will be there”.

The fire broke out at the Manse Road property on Tuesday morning, with four fire apparatus at the scene.

Mr Marshall was later confirmed to have died and it is believed that a pet dog belonging to him also perished.

He was a longtime member of the Glandore Dog Training Club of Ulster, who in a Facebook post told members it was “with heavy hearts” as they reflected on his tragic death.

“David was one of the oldest members of the Glandore Dog Training Club of Ulster. He first joined in the 1970s,” a spokesperson said.

“His first dogs were German Shepherds that he trained in obedience.

“However, his main love and most remembered dogs were black poodles (they had to be black, it was the only color for a poodle, to quote David).

“He had a unique relationship with his dogs and love is certainly not too strong a word to describe how he felt about them.

“They were his constant companions and went everywhere with him.

“David and his dogs were known to everyone in the NI canine world for the many years he was involved.”

The club said Mr Marshall competed at several levels associated with dog training, including obedience and agility.

“He was a senior trainer at Glandore for many years, training good citizens, competitive obedience and agility,” he added.

“It’s hard to say which he enjoyed the most, because whenever he was able to spend time concentrating on his beloved poodles, his joy was evident.

“He was president of Glandore for years and for a long time he was an instructor or in a class at Glandore, two and often three times a week.

“His character and attitude towards dogs, his own and others, affected all who met him.

“If a human crosses the Rainbow Bridge, David will be there.”

Other tributes remembered him as someone who “always had time to chat and help when asked, he was such a character and his poodles were his precious bundles of joy”.

Another said ‘he was a wonderful dog trainer, great company and a true gentleman’, while another added that his death was ‘a very sad loss to the dog world’.

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