The family of a Derry nun who was killed in the Ecuadorian Earthquake have issued a heartfelt thanks to the people of Derry for their support.
Sister Clare Theresa Crockett (33) from Iona Terrace in the Brandywell was among the 520 people to lose their lives in the tragedy.
It emerged today that Sr Clare’s remains are now with undertakers in Ecuador and efforts are now being made to complete the relevant paperwork and to allow for the much-loved missionary to be returned to her relatives in Derry.
A Justgiving fundraising campaign was launched to help cover the costs of bringing Derry nun Sr Clare Crockett home for burial and so far over £4,000 has been raised for the repatriation.
In a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, Sr Clare’s relatives said: “We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all those who have contacted our family, visited the family home and donated to the effort to bring Sister Clare home to Derry.
“We are currently working towards Clare’s repatriation alongside the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Kevin Bell Trust who have given us so much support, and our local undertakers Carr Family Funeral Directors. This complicated process could take some time due to the state of infrastructure following the earthquake in Ecuador.
“The people of Derry have stood shoulder to shoulder with us and we are immensely grateful. We are very grateful to Fr Graham and Fr Brendan for their support both spiritually and the assistance from the Parish to help support the financial burden in bringing Clare’s remains home.
“In spite of so much generosity, the cost of bringing Clare home has not yet been reached so we will continue to fundraise, working with the Kevin Bell Trust who will provide the necessary assistance and should our fundraising yield more than is necessary to bring our beloved Clare home the monies raised will be used by the Trust to assist anyone else who may find themselves in a similar situation.
“We offer this clarification regarding the only purpose of our fundraising at this time as we were advised when Clare passed away that the family would have to pay for Clare to come home.”
Earlier this week Sr Clare’s relatives described her a “diamond of the family” who brought joy to all she met.
The Derry missionary was killed along with a number of postulants, young people who were considering becoming nuns, and who had been practising hymns together when the Earthquake struck.
Sr. Clare was trying to get the young ladies to safety in the four-storey building and are believed to have made it to a staircase when the building collapsed.
The family have also said that whilst they understand and appreciate that many people want to come to the family home to lend their support and their condolences, given the time they have to wait before we can have a proper wake and funeral, that they be given some time to grieve before Clare comes home, “when everyone is welcome to come and pay their respects”.
“At this time we are asking for the family home to be private from 10pm to 10am,” they said.