The Malin man who died tragically in a crash earlier this week, has been described as “selfless in his commitment to his family and his community.”
Fr. Peter Devlin was speaking at the Requiem Mass of John ‘Rustard’ McLaughlin in Ballybrack Church, Greencastle, yesterday morning. The 38-year-old father of two was tragically killed in a two vehicle collision at Strand Head, Malin, at on 6 p.m. on Monday.
Hundreds of mourners packed the church and its grounds while guards of honour were provided by Malin and Greencastle Ladies GAA teams, where he was a coach, and also the Moville Community College, where his wife Mags works as a teacher.
John, who worked in E&I Engineering in Burnfoot, lived in Greencastle with his family, and is survived by his wife Mags, children Sean and Niamh and also their unborn child. Condolences were offered to the wider Mulhall and Rustard families, his parents Rosaleen and Noel, brothers Charles, Thomas and Joseph and sisters Susanna and Bernadette.
The funeral Mass was concelebrated by Fr Devlin, Fr Logue, Fr McGoldrick and Fr Stephen Farragher of the Archdiosese of Tuam who celebrated Mags and John’s wedding five years ago.
Fr Devlin said everyone was “burdended with a great sense of loss and sadness and grief” and were left with questions as to why John “should be taken so suddenly and so tragically.”
“John was an intelligent man, yet his death is apparently senseless. He was a gentleman, yet his death was traumatic and tragic. He was generous, kind and compassionate, yet his death deprives us of his presence.
“He was a relatively young man, his life was filled with promise, his death cut short all of that promise. He was given a family who deeply love him, his death leaves them without him,” he said.
Fr Devlin told the congregation there are no “rational answers for these questions and these concerns” and said they must return to the scriptures as it is “a resource which provides the framework for coping with loss, grief and sadness.”
“Jesus showed us that for those who believe in him, even though they die, will live.
That is at the heart of our response this morning to John’s death.
“It is tragic, it is pathetic, it is a powerful loss, it raises major questions. But our faith allows us to confront directly all of those questions with the great sadness that we experience.
“John was a good guy, we all know that. Therefore this morning, while there is great sadness and great loss, there is also I hope seeds of hope and consolation. He made choices that showed him to be a man of faith. He was somebody who was selfless in his commitment to his family and his community.
“He was somebody who attempted to live the standards of the gospel. While we offer our condolences, we pray that their faith and the example he gave, will provide the seeds of consolation and hope,” added Fr Devlin.
Gifts brought to the altar included a Malin GAA jersey, and a 12-week scan of John and Mags unborn child.
Gardai in Buncrana have renewed their appeal for information following Monday’s fatal collision.
Gardai wish to appeal for witnesses, or anyone with information or to anyone who travelled on the Strand Head road between 5.45pm and 6.15pm on Monday evening to contact Buncrana Garda Station on 0749320540, The Garda Confidential telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.