‘NO ONE IS INDESTRUCTIBLE’

A PRIEST at the funeral at one of the victims of Sunday night’s devastating road crash in Donegal has urged young people not to fall for the belief that they are indestructible.

Speaking at requiem Mass for Eamonn McDaid, the parish priest of Buncrana, Fr John Walsh, reminded the 22-year-old’s friends, acquaintances and peers that life could be cruel if they refused to play by its rules.

“You are very fragile. All of us are. Life itself is fragile.

“We have to be careful and even wise if we are to reach adulthood and middle age and old age. There are no guarantees, but care and caution are mighty helps in the effort at holding on to life.

“I don’t mean to patronise you. When I was your age, I too felt indestructible. But none of us is. That’s a plain fact of life. So please, please, please live life on its terms, within its rules and boundaries, otherwise life will be cruel and merciless towards you and towards the family and friends who will have to bear you to the grave.”

Yesterday, four young men were laid to rest in funerals in Cockhill, just outside Buncrana, and Clonmany, 17km away. Once again the people of the Inishowen peninsula turned out in their hundreds to say their farewells and show solidarity with the bereaved.

At Clonmany, Paul Doherty was buried on a day when he should have been celebrating his 20th birthday while later in the day, crowds gathered again for the funeral of his friend 19-year-old Ciarán Sweeney.

The family of Damien McLaughlin, 21, said their farewells in the afternoon in a ceremony at Cockhill which they requested the media not to report on.

Prayers were said in both communities for Seán Kelly, the 22-year-old driver of the car and sole survivor of the crash who remains in intensive care at Letterkenny Hospital.

Eamon Sweeney, the father of Ciaran, and Philomena McEleney, the mother of James McEleney, 23, whose funeral today will be the last of the eight, said yesterday they wanted only for Shaun to recover and stressed no one should apportion blame for what happened.

Ms McEleney, whose family home is only a few hundred yards from the spot where James lost his life, said: “There is no one to blame. James was in the car — I don’t blame anyone for that.”


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