Hearts 'are torn apart' after crash deaths

time:2023-06-03 03:21:17source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:Press center2

The hearts of a community have been "torn apart" by the deaths of two siblings in a crash in Strabane, County Tyrone, a priest has said.

Brother and sister Christine and and Dan McKane died along with their aunt Julia McSorley, 75, in the collision on the A5 last Thursday,

The minibus they were travelling in was in a collision with a lorry.

Mourners have heard how Dan McKane was "a big-hearted" man who lived for his family.

Christine McKane was described as "small in stature but big of heart".

Fr Declan Boland told mourners in The Church of The Immaculate Conception, she was "a pocket rocket" whose children and grandchildren were "everything to her".

The mother-of-three was described as a "chocoholic" who was "so proud of her two wonderful little grandchildren".

"Her wonderful children and beautiful grandchildren, they were everything to Christine. She just lived for them," Fr Boland said.

He added: "As long as they were all happy and okay, she was happy".

Nothing, the parish priest said, "was a bother to Dan McKane". A father of two daughters, he was the "go-to person" in times of need.

A lorry driver for a living, Fr Boland said it was "in his blood".

Fr Boland said local hearts "are sad and broken" following the crash on Thursday.

"Events of last week remind us we are fragile. We never know the day or hour, that has been brought home so forcibly in recent days.

"Our community's hearts have been torn apart by this terrible loss".

He thanked Commandant Brian Walsh, aide-de-camp to President Michael D Higgins, for his message of support. He also thanked Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill, who was among the mourners.

Earlier, a single piper led a procession of hundreds into the church. As the coffins entered the church grounds side-by-side, four lorries beeped their horns in unison.

Naomh Eoghan GAA formed a guard of honour outside the church, as the service took place.

Requiem Mass was held for Ms McSorley on Sunday.

She was described as "selfless, smiling, kind and bubbly".

Thursday's fatal crash was the latest to happen on the A5 road, which forms part of the main route between Londonderry and Dublin.

Four other people were injured in the incident.

Campaigners from Enough Is Enough, a group calling for urgent improvements to the route, previously said 44 people have died on the road since plans to upgrade it were first announced in 2007.

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