Injured teen who miraculously survived horror smash attends funeral of tragic aunt Angela Kelly (35)
The injured teenager who miraculously survived the horror smash in Rathdowney, Co Laois was amongst the mourners at the funeral of his aunt, who lost her life in the accident.
Jamie (16) a nephew of mother-of-one Angela Kelly (35), had been a back seat passenger in the crash which claimed three lives in the early hours of Sunday last.
The crash happened not long after they had been celebrating a 21st birthday in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Also killed outright were Angela's friends, Martin Brophy and Orla Curry, both aged 20.
The group had been on their way to an all-night service station when their car ploughed into a road sign outside Rathdowney.
Angela's nephew Jamie also suffered serious injuries in the collision but managed to send a text message for help.
It was the worst weekend on our roads so far this year, leaving five people dead in three separate accidents.
Chief mourners at Angela's funeral were her 16-year old daughter Shannon, her parents Paul and Gillian, her sisters Maria, Catriona and Amanda and her brother Anthony.
Angela had been a popular employee at Super Valu in Portlaoise and amongst the congregation were many who had known her from there.
In a solemn sign of grief, there were no flowers on the altar, but only candles burning brightly.
Books of Condolence bore messages from friends describing Angela as "one in a million," with "a heart of gold."
She had been a "real Mammy who had cared about everybody," another read.
Mourners heard Angela had been a "real day brightener" to those who had known her.
Amongst symbols of her life brought to the altar were athletic medals, family photos and a dream catcher - symbolising her belief in an afterlife and of her protection for her loved ones.
Fr Martin Delaney said the last three days had been ones of hardship for the whole community and that pain now moved on to a new level with the start of the public goodbyes for the three deceased friends.
He gave special welcome to the father of Martin Brophy, Martin senior, and Peter and Ann Curry, the parents of Orla Curry, who were in attendance, saying everyone knew how difficult it was for them to be present.
Speaking at the funeral at the Church of the Holy Trinity in the town, Parish Priest Fr Martin Delaney said there had been "tears and there was laughter" as memories and stories were shared of "a bubbly, warm, courageous , vibrant young woman who had an ability to brighten up every room she walked into."
She was a medal winning athlete who loved to keep fit, the first one out on every dance floor, he said.
And he shared a story about how Angie had recently injured her ankle while out running and was on crutches for some time.
She was slowly making her way down the town for some massage therapy on her ankle and passed workmen on a roadworks project who were full of sympathy for her predicament.
When the masseuse had finished working on Angela’s ankle she encouraged her to abandon the crutches and walk on her own two feet.
"When Angela walked back up the street the work men greeted her with great hilarity slagging her off that they were witnessing a miracle in Rathdowney," Fr Delaney quipped.
He noted how President Mary McAleese had once, at an event he had attended, spoken of how people are either "radiators or drains" - pumping out love and warmth, or draining others of every bit of energy because of their negativity.
"Angie was definitely a radiator," he said.
The funeral of Orla Curry takes place tomorrow while that of Martin Brophy will be held on Friday.