Family and friends were greatly saddened by the tragic deaths of David and Claire Broughall, both in their mid-30s, but had some consolation as Claire gave other people the gift of life by donating her organs.
In a homily at a requiem Mass for the couple in Dingle, Co Kerry, on Saturday, Fr Eugene Kiely said Claire’s generosity had brought hope to the recipients of her organs and their families.
“This is a time to remind us of the need for such life-giving generosity,’’ he said.
The couple, who met in Boston, were married in Ballyferriter, in the Dingle peninsula, five years ago and decided to spend their lives in the area.
David, from Kilcullen, Co Kildare, and Claire (nee O’Brien), from Douglas, in Cork city, built a house at Glens North, Dingle. But all their dreams came to an end with a fatal crash, in which their Saab car collided with a lorry, near Dingle, last Monday.
The priest who officiated at their wedding, Fr Tomas O hIcheadha, was among the five concelebrants of their funeral Mass.
Claire had developed a deep love of the Dingle peninsula and its people since she began visiting the area as a child.
Local people also took the couple to their hearts, as they showed by crowding into St Mary’s Church, Dingle, for the obsequies and bidding them a touching, final farewell to the strains of the evocative tune, Dingle Bay.
Fr Kiely said their deaths cast a deep shadow over the whole community and the last week must have seemed like an eternity for their families and friends.
He said like many others, the couple had been captivated not only by the scenery and wonderful traditions of the Dingle area, but also by the kindness, generosity and welcoming nature of its people.
When they were married in 2003, they were full of hope for the future and, in the short space of time since then, had fulfilled many of their dreams, he told mourners.
Fr Kiely, described the Broughalls as a couple with a deep, abiding love for each other. They were also committed to their work, with a dedication and professionalism remembered by all.
David was a mechanic and panel beater, Claire had her own hairdressing business. They had no children.
At the start of the Mass, Claire’s scissors, a bunch of heather and wild flowers from the hills around their home, surf boards and sand from Ventry strand were handed up.
The couple were laid to rest side by side in Milltown cemetery, overlooking Dingle harbour.
Chief mourners were: David’s parents, Jim and Rosaleen; sisters, Anne, Jeanette, Rosemary, Una and Lorraine; brothers, Breffni and Michael; Claire’s mother, Christine; sisters, Mary and Christine, and brother, Jackie.