Donegal crash: Mourners hear of horrendous tragedy

Mourners in the streets for the funerals of the Mullan family, standing near their cars

Image caption

Mourners took to the streets to pay tribute to those killed in a tragedy in Donegal last week

The funeral has taken place in Donegal of a father and two children who died after their vehicle skidded off a road and into Lough Foyle last Thursday.

John Mullan, 49, his six-year-old daughter Amelia, and 14-year-old stepson Tomas died in the crash.

The children’s mother, Geraldine, managed to escape from the SUV and raise the alarm.

The parish priest said the family was devoted to one another and there was great sadness throughout the community.

He said it was an horrendous tragedy that had left the community reeling with a sense of shock and disbelief.

Several hundred friends and neighbours lined the main street in Moville to pay their respects as the three coffins were brought into St Pius X parish church.

Sombre morning

Fr Pat O’Hagan told mourners there was a sadness and grief palpable in the parish community and nowhere more so than in the heart of Geraldine Mullan who had lost her husband and two children.

A range of groups came out to form a guard of honour including the children’s two schools as well as the Sea Scouts – of which Tomas was a member – and a local GAA club.

The family had enjoyed an evening out across the border at an bowling alley before the accident near Quigley’s Point on Thursday just before 22:30 local time.

‘Outpouring of support’

Local people in Moville lined the street to pay their respects as the three coffins were brought into chapel for requiem Mass where Covid-19 restrictions were observed.

Fr O’Hagan said there had been a “universal outpouring” of support for Geraldine, and that he had received messages from “England, Italy, Nigeria, Brazil and Australia”.

“There’s been an outpouring of love especially for you, Geraldine, in your loss,” he said.

He spoke about the connection the family had with the church and in the local community, saying that Tómas was an alter server for four years at the church.

Fr O’Hagan described Amelia as a “typical girl of her age” who was “always enjoying whatever she was doing”.

“John met and fell in love with Geraldine when she was nursing his late mother, Philomena, whose 10th anniversary was last Thursday, a date forever etched in the minds and memories of the Mullan family, and now the Connaughton family too,” he said.

“He and Geraldine became devoted not only to each other as husband and wife and as best friends, but to their children, as good, honest, hardworking parents who were bringing their children up and teaching them by their own good example to be people of faith.”

Fr O’Hagan added: “We need the powerful presence of God’s Holy Spirit today above all days, because there are so many things we can not understand, so many words we can not find, so many prayers we find it hard to say.”

BBC News