Saturday 27 May 2017

Hundreds pay spectacular tribute at funeral of 'Queen of the Travellers' and mother-of-13 Violet Crumlish

David Young

Hundreds of mourners have gathered to pay fond tribute to a woman dubbed the Queen of the Travellers.

Mother-of-13 Violet Crumlish, 59, died at the weekend after a long battle with cancer.

The funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Peter's Church in Lurgan, County Armagh.Niall Carson/PA Wire
The funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Peter's Church in Lurgan, County Armagh.Niall Carson/PA Wire
The funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Colemans cemetary in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Wreaths are laid during the funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Colemans cemetary in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Owen Crumlish (top right), the widow of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, sits on a horse drawn hearse during her funeral at St Peter's Church in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
A girl carries a wreath as the funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Colemans cemetary in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
The funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Peter's Church in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Owen Crumlish (top right), the widow of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, sits on a horse drawn hearse during her funeral at St Peter's Church in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Wreaths are laid during the funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Colemans cemetary in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Owen Crumlish (top right), the widow of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, sits on a horse drawn hearse during her funeral at St Peter's Church in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Wreaths are laid during the funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Colemans cemetary in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
The funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Peter's Church in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Wreaths are laid during the funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Peter's Church in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Wreaths are laid during the funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Colemans cemetary in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
A portrait of Violet and Owen Crumlish, during the funeral of the so called Queen of the Travellers, at St Colemans cemetary in Lurgan, County Armagh.Niall Carson/PA Wire
Wreaths are laid during the funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Colemans cemetary in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire

A white carriage drawn by four white horses led the cortege for Mrs Crumlish as 10 black limousines brought grieving family and friends to St Peter's church in Lurgan, Co Armagh.

Two flatbed lorries were required to carry the huge number of wreaths and flowers for the hugely popular member of the Travelling community.

Among the scores of colourful floral tributes were ones in the shape of a Chanel handbag, a caravan, bingo board, iPhone, lipstick, single cigarette, bottles of wine and alcopop.

A number of life-sized photos of the grandmother were also displayed inside the church and at the graveside, as well as portraits of her extended family.

The funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Peter's Church in Lurgan, County Armagh.Niall Carson/PA Wire
The funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Peter's Church in Lurgan, County Armagh.Niall Carson/PA Wire

Mrs Crumlish lived in the Bristol area but had returned to her homeland in Northern Ireland as her death drew nearer.

During Requiem Mass Parish Priest Fr Joseph Wozniak described her as a "very gentle and kind person".

Wreaths are laid during the funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Colemans cemetary in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Wreaths are laid during the funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Colemans cemetary in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire

"She never criticised anybody and was fondly described by family members as the Traveller Queen," he said.

The cleric added: "Violet was a brilliant mother and grandmother. She was also like a mother to many in the Travelling community."

A girl carries a wreath as the funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Colemans cemetary in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
A girl carries a wreath as the funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Colemans cemetary in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire

Mrs Crumlish's husband, Owen, rode a top the horse drawn carriage as the cortege made its way from the church to the graveyard. Parts of Lurgan town centre were closed to traffic to allow the funeral procession to pass through.

At the graveyard, a number of doves were released into the air as Mrs Crumlish's white coffin was lowered into the ground. Family and friends dropped yellow roses onto the coffin lid while singing songs, including the Whitney Houston classic, I will Always You Love You.

Owen Crumlish (top right), the widow of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, sits on a horse drawn hearse during her funeral at St Peter's Church in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Owen Crumlish (top right), the widow of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, sits on a horse drawn hearse during her funeral at St Peter's Church in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire

In August thousands of Travellers arrived in Bristol from across Europe to pay respects to Mrs Crumlish in the final stages of her illness.

Wreaths are laid during the funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Colemans cemetary in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Wreaths are laid during the funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Colemans cemetary in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Wreaths are laid during the funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Peter's Church in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Wreaths are laid during the funeral of mother-of-11 Violet Crumlish, dubbed the Queen of the Travellers, takes place at St Peter's Church in Lurgan, County Armagh. Niall Carson/PA Wire

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