Sunday 15 December 2019

Family asked to celebrate tragic Kelly's 'love for life'

Mourners throng Tara Hill, Co Wexford, to pay their respects to Kelly Gregan who was the victim of a hit and run
Mourners throng Tara Hill, Co Wexford, to pay their respects to Kelly Gregan who was the victim of a hit and run
Mother Pauline Gregan and sisters Lorna and Kirstie yesterday as the funeral of Kelly Gregan
Kelly Gregan, left, with her best friend Gillian Fitzgerald who was also knocked down in the fatal collision
Kelly Gregan, the young woman tragically killed in the incident was popular among her peers
Best friends Gillian Fitzgerald, centre, who was injured in the incident, and Kelly Gregan, who died, are pictured out socialising
Gillian Fitzgerald, left, and Kelly Gregan pictured in their last Leaving Cert days in Gorey Community School two years ago
The burnt-out Renault found just three miles from the site of the investigation

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

A PAIR of high heels, a stuffed toy dog and a ball of wool were gently placed on the altar in front of the closed coffin.

Kelly Gregan was a "bubbly" 20-year-old who loved to dance, drink wine and have fun. She was also the victim of a hit and run in Gorey, Co Wexford, last weekend.

Her grief-stricken mother, Pauline, and sisters, Kirstie (18) and Lorna (12), sat in silence. The young girls held a white lily in their hands.

Pauline swallowed hard and put her arm around little Lorna when she started to cry as Kelly's high heels were brought to the altar. These represented Kelly's "love for life, dancing and a good night out".

The young art student was doing what she loved until she was "robbed" from her family. She had danced the night away and was trying to cross the road with her pal, Gillian Fitzgerald after they left a nightclub early on Sunday morning.

It was supposed to be another "girly night out" for the bank holiday weekend. The girls had returned to their hometown of Gorey, Co Wexford, when a driver sped through traffic lights and knocked them down.

Gillian remained in hospital yesterday as Kelly's family and friends filed into a tiny church on Tara Hill.

The sun shone and the birds sang moments earlier as students of Limerick College of Art and Design -- who travelled to the Mass -- formed a guard of honour.

A heartbroken young man looked distressed as he pushed the coffin towards the altar. He took his seat next to Kirstie, Pauline and Lorna.

Hundreds of mourners listened intently as Fr William Flynn described how Kelly's death came out of the blue.

"Death has robbed you of something so precious. You had Kelly for such a short time," he said.

However, Fr Flynn pleaded with the sobbing young women who held hands not to focus solely on Kelly's last moments. Instead, he asked them to look at how Kelly Gregan was "full of life" for 20 years and to remember her "amazing smile".

Kelly's sister, Lorna, bravely read out a prayer "for all the love (Kelly) shared".

The girls' heartbroken mother comforted her daughters -- until Richard, her late husband's name, was mentioned. He died from cancer in 2008. At that moment, tears started to flow.

A poem was read out to reflect on Kelly's life at the request of her many "great friends" present. The touching verse described how they would miss Kelly and think about her "every day".

Fr Flynn said Kelly was a "beautiful daughter, sister and friend" and her death was a "tragedy".

As her remains left St Kevin's Church on Tara Hill, hundreds of mourners lined the streets.

Meanwhile, one man and a woman remained in garda stations in Wexford last night for questioning. The pair are being questioned over the hit-and-run.

Irish Independent

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