'Parents shouldn't have to bury their own children' - priest at funeral of crash victim
A young Co Tyrone man killed in a motorway accident brought "joy and affection" into the lives of his family and friends, his funeral heard yesterday.
Monsignor Colum Curry was speaking as Darryl Thompson (22), from Beragh, was laid to rest. He was killed after being hit by a car on a section of the M1 last Saturday night.
In his homily to mourners at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Beragh, the parish priest said the experience of death is always difficult, but the death of a young person in the prime of his life is particularly difficult.
"It's hard for any of us to understand why a young man with youth and energy on his side should be taken from us so tragically. It doesn't make sense," Mgr Curry said.
"There will always be a feeling that there was so much more that Darryl could have done. He had more in life to offer and to achieve if only circumstances had been kinder to him but sadly it was not to be.
"We think of all that Darryl has accomplished and the affection he has left behind. His family have a wealth of lovely memories to treasure of someone special, who lived life to the full and never settled for anything less than 100%. That was reflected in his work as a competent mechanic who loved working with cars.
"He had the same interest in diggers and like his father before him, he was passionate about driving a digger from an early age."
Mr Thompson's father Tony (38) died in a motorbike crash in 2006. His uncle Dermot Loughran (36) was killed in similar circumstances three years later.
Mgr Curry added: "We are grateful for the life Darryl had, the way he lived that life and the tremendous joy and fun he brought into people's lives. He was a loyal friend with a smile that was always contagious."
The priest paid tribute in particular to Mr Thompson's mother Edwina facing further heartache.
"Parents shouldn't have to bury their children - it isn't fair. Darryl's family and friends have every right to feel angry, bitter and outraged but at the wake in recent days we found the very opposite. They were so dignified and their attitude exemplary.
"Underpinning all of that there was a sense of the depth of the faith that has sustained them in the past and which will fortify them in the future. They have been an inspiration to all of us."
Mr Thompson is also survived by his sister Katie (21), brother Jack (5), stepfather Keith Clarke, girlfriend Megan, grandparents and wider family circle.
Yesterday police issued a further appeal for information about the fatal collision. A man in his 20s was arrested following the incident and released on bail pending further enquiries.
Officers are appealing for anyone who was travelling between junction 14 and 15 on the M1 motorway near Tamnamore last Saturday at around 10.20pm who witnessed the collision or may have dash-cam footage to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 1477 November 10.