So many hopes and dreams were shattered by the death of 16 year-old Cathal Donaghy, hundreds of mourners have been told.
There were emotional scenes as throngs of people attended the County Derry teenager’s Requiem Mass and burial at Craigbane on Wednesday.
The teenager was on his way to Omagh for an 18th birthday party with friends and was standing outside a mini bus along Beltany Road in Newtownstewart when he was involved in a collision last Friday night.
During his homily, Three Patrons parish priest and former Claudy PP, Father Michael McCaughey - who is a close friend of the Donaghy family said there was little that could be said or done to “measure the loss” to Cathal’s family and friends.
“So many hopes and dreams were shattered on Friday night and Saturday morning.” He said Cathal was “evidently” loved and respected by family and many friends. “That was obvious as his remains came home to Claudy and Craigbane on Sunday evening when hundreds of people gathered . . . ten tractors actually lined the roads with signs reading RIP Cathal,” he said.
He added that Cathal was “a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew and a cousin who loved and was loved”. “As we pray let us not think of what Cathal could have done in his life, let us ponder on what he has done in life and the love he created.”
Speaking after the funeral service, Fr McCaughey said the turnout of mourners from the “strong faith community” was remarkable. “It was a very touching, poignant scene.”
Speaking on behalf of Mr Donaghy’s family, Fr McCaughey - who attended the teenager during his final hours at Altnagelvin hospital where he died on Saturday - paid tribute to the “tremendous efforts” of medical teams.
“There were doctors who were travelling past the scene who stopped and rendered assistance to the young fella. They did everything they could to help and accompanied him to the hospital in the ambulance.
“The family has also asked me to acknowledge the tremendous work of the staff at Intensive Care and Accident and Emergency in Altnagelvin hospital. Everything medically was done for the young fella - the total commitment and generosity of the staff must be acknowledged.”
Cathal’s friends who witnessed the 16 year old Craigbane GAC footballer knocked down were said by Fr McCaughey to be traumatised.
“They were on their way to an 18th birthday party and it was extremely traumatic for them.”