'Beautiful and vibrant' Maria (5) laid to rest
THESE are the heartbreaking scenes at the funeral of five-year-old “little angel” Maria Louise McGinley Greene.
The little girl was knocked down by a van and killed while she was playing near her home at St Bridget’s Estate, Portlaoise.
Maria Louise was laid to rest in a specially designed pink coffin and mourners wore bright fuschia pink ribbons in their lapels.
A horse-drawn carriage, decorated with pink balloons and pink flowers, brought her remains from St Peter and St Paul's Church in Portlaoise for burial in the neighbouring cemetery on the Stradbally Road.
A Requiem Mass was held yesterday afternoon and the girl's parents, Stephen and Amanda, were comforted by relatives and friends yesterday. The couple have a seven month old son Stephen.
A close family friend had described Maria Louise as “a lovely little child”.
“For them, it's a bad dream from which they want to wake up. The life of their vibrant, beautiful daughter has been suddenly taken, and with that their hearts have been broken as well,” said the friend.
Her aunt Doreen posted a photo on Facebook with the caption, “My beautiful niece Maria, my perfect little angel in the sky”.
The tragedy caused widespread shock and sadness in the community.
Maria Louise was a junior infant pupil at Portlaoise Gaelscoil.
The fatal accident happened just a month |after her family celebrated Maria's fifth birthday on February 7.
Meanwhile, a little girl was in a serious condition in hospital last night, battling major injuries sustained in a crash in the midlands yesterday.
The four year old was a passenger in a car that collided with a truck around 10.30am at Annagh Cross in Co Tipperary. The emergency services were at the scene and the child and a woman in her 30s were removed from their Hyundai saloon car and rushed to the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore.
Later yesterday the little girl was transferred to Galway University Hospital. Gardai described her injuries as serious.