An emotional round of applause rang out in St. Columba’s Church in Drung in “appreciation and love” for Georgia Doherty, the girl with the “magnetic smile.”
More than a thousand mourners packed into and outside the church near the 13-year-old’s home in Redcastle to say farewell following her tragic and untimely death last Sunday in a road traffic collision near Derry.
Fr. Anthony Mailey, who personally knew Georgia, said “when she walked into a room, she lit it up.”
Many of the young girl’s family and friends wore the jerseys of her favourite football teams - Liverpool and Celtic - as well as the colour green.
Georgia’s fellow students at Moville Community College read the Lessons and Prayers of the Faithful, with two of them reading compilations of “beautiful memories” shared by her friends.
They told how “it was often said that you could hear Georgia coming before you saw her. “This was due to her unique laugh, a thing that people will never forget and a thing that could light up any room.
“She was a bubbly and positive character who filled the corridors and classrooms in school with so much happiness and laughter.”
They added how she made people “smile and laugh” and said there were many occasions in Georgia’s life where “she acted as the best friend any person could have wished for.”
“She stood up for people when they needed support in difficult situations and she helped many overcome their fears.”
They continued: “Georgia was truly one of a kind. She was an extremely positive young girl who made a tremendous impact on the lives of everyone that she met. Georgia will continue to help us through difficult times with the memories that she created with each and every one of us. These memories will ensure that we will never walk alone at any stage in our lives.
“Rest in peace Georgia. It was an absolute privilege to have known someone as caring,
loyal and positive as you.”
During the Requiem Mass, prayers were said for Georgia’s sister Lisa, who remains in hospital following the collision, as well as her father George, mother Rosemarie and siblings Ciara and Conor.
Fr. Mailey also paid tribute to Georgia as “a great athlete and talented soccer and Gaelic footballer.”
He said: “She played for Inishowen Under 14s in both disciplines and she was a faithful and reliable supporter of Redcastle Football Club.”
Fr. Mailey told mourners: “This is not Parkhead, or Old Trafford and it’s not Anfield, but I don’t think the Lord will mind if we bring a little bit of Parkhead and Anfield into the Church. Please show your appreciation and love for our all-star, our number 10 - Georgia Doherty.”
The round of applause for Georgia lasted well over one minute and was accompanied by a standing ovation.
Georgia’s white coffin, adorned with written messages from her friends, was carried out of the church to her final resting place to the songs ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and ‘Story of My Life,’ from her beloved One Direction.