Hundreds pay spectacular tribute at funeral of 'Queen of the Travellers' and mother-of-13 Violet Crumlish
Published 29/09/2016 | 20:20
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.
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.
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".
"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."
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.
In August thousands of Travellers arrived in Bristol from across Europe to pay respects to Mrs Crumlish in the final stages of her illness.