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Crash victim Orla was 'the centre of her parents lives'

The grief-stricken parents of a road crash victim clung to one another for support at the funeral of their only child as they mourned the unbearable loss of their "really happy little family".

Orla Curry (20) from Rathdowney, Co Laois was among three friends killed in the accident which happened in the early hours of Sunday morning on the outskirts of the town.

She was described at her funeral as the "apple of her father's eye" and "the centre of her parents' lives" who had brought them fun, happiness and love from the moment she was born.

"She was a beautiful young woman, still a girl, really," said her cousin Louise in a voice that shook with emotion.

"Together the three of them were a really happy little family," she revealed.

Also killed outright in the crash last Sunday were Martin Brophy (20) - whose funeral takes place in Rathdowney today, and mother-of-one Angela Kelly (35) - whose funeral took place yesterday.

The group had been on their way to an all-night service station to pick up cigarettes following a 21st birthday party when their car ploughed into a road sign.

Chief mourners at Orla's funeral at St Canice's church in Clough were her parents, Peter and Ann, as well as her grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins.


A poignant guard-of-honour was formed outside the old stone church by female members of St Brigid's GAA club, of which Orla had been a member.

Parish priest Fr Jim Murphy told mourners that they were "speechless in the face of this tragedy".

"The entire country would like to be able to take away the trauma and the tragedy and return life to the way it was," he said.

But he said this is beyond us and all we can do is support the family in their pain.

He described Orla as a "wonderful unique girl" who was "the most precious gift" her parents could have had.

A traditional Irish lament was played as a reflection at the funeral.

Orla's cousin, Louise, revealed that Orla had been the "apple of her father's eye" and would always take the long way to work in order to pass her mother, who would be out walking, so that she could give her a "loving wave".

Orla's burial took place at Bealady Cemetery.