Second crash victim buried

A TWO-MONTH-OLD baby girl was brought back to church yesterday just days after her christening but it was for a much more sombre occasion.

She was rocked gently in her pram by her mother as hundreds of mourners came to bid a final farewell to a young father.

Last Saturday John Swords, 22, posed proudly for photographs at Saint Peter and Paul’s church in Kilmallock with his partner Nicki.

The couple proudly held their daughter Alex, in her white christening robes, as holy water was poured on the baby’s head.

Hours later, however, Mr Swords was killed instantly in a car crash with his best friend Oliver Kearney, 21.

Mr Kearney’s funeral took place on Tuesday.

At John’s funeral mass in St John the Baptist Church in Hospital yesterday, the happy christening photograph was brought up with the offertory gifts.

The mourners were led by John’s parents, Eileen and John Swords.

In his homily, Fr Sean Fennelly who taught the dead man when he was a student at the John the Baptist Community School said: “In the past two days we have had two schoolboy friends, two young men, two coffins and a host of broken people.”

Their graves were now as near each other as their homes in Galtee View where both grew up.

“This is a reminder that roads are unforgiving, merciless and dangerous and you don’t often get a second chance.” Fr Fennelly said.

School principal Jim Twohig said in the last 10 years, 13 people from the locality under the age of 23 had been killed in road accidents.

“Eleven of those attended community school. These latest deaths were the third multiple tragedies involving former student at the school,” he said.

The parish priest of Hospital, Fr Conor Ryan was the chief celebrant at the mass. Messages of condolence were sent by President Mary McAleese and the Archbishop of Cashel, Dr Dermot Clifford.

The accident happened after John and Oliver left the christening party on getting a message John’s home had been broken into. The car hit a wall near the church in Knocklong.

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