‘Shauna will be the brightest star’

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The Irish language community in north Derry has been left heartbroken by the tragic death of young Dungiven woman, Shauna McSorley, who was laid to rest in St. Patrick’s churchyard after passing away following a short period of illness last week.

The 20-year-old former St. Patrick’s College pupil was laid to rest following Requiem Mass in her home parish on Wednesday morning.

Shauna died peacefully in Altnagelvin last Thursday after being admitted to the hospital the previous week.

Her death has stunned the local community.

In his homily at Shauna’s funeral Mass Father Seamus Kelly referred to the seeming injustice in the death of someone so young and vital.

Fr. Kelly said it seemed “unfair that a beautiful young girl in the prime of life is today leaving this world”.

Gaelscoil Leim an Mhadaidh closed on Wednesday as a mark of respect while Shauna’s funeral took place.

A Book of Remembrance has also been opened at the Limavady Primary School in the late classroom assistant’s memory.

“Shauna worked hard, got on with everyone, loved the children and they loved her. She contributed to so many aspects of our school. We will miss her so much! God rest her soul. She will be the brightest star!” the school said in a statement.

Shauna was one of the first intake of pupils at Naíscoil Neachtain in Dungiven. Staff at the local infant school, which is located across the street from Shauna’s home in Mountainview Park, said they were heartbroken at their former pupil’s untimely death.

Fr. Kelly told mourners: “I don’t think I should be here this morning. You should not be here this morning. Shauna should be at her work in the Gaelscoil.

“We still have no understanding why or what happened her good health in so short a time... she had many dreams to fulfil,” he said.

Former Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Ó hOisín, a fellow Dungiven Irish language enthusiast, said: “I think the tributes that have been paid by the Irish language community show the regard in which she was held.”

Shauna is mourned by her parents, James and Martina, her brother Sean, and her wider family circle.