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I've lost very best pal -- tragic Susan's mum

Close to 700 mourners put their lives on hold to pay their respects to teenager Susan Larrigan, who lost her life in the first fatal traffic collision of the year.

The mourners at the Church of the Holy Family in Dundalk heard yesterday that the 17-year-old never held a grudge and that what happened, "was an awful tragedy".

She was a passenger in a car driven by Patrick Harper (22), also from Dundalk, which went out of control on the M1 motorway at 4.30am on New Year's Day, killing them both.

Her coffin was brought to the church in a hearse drawn by two Fresian horses. A second hearse carried the numerous wreaths.

The Mass was celebrated by parish priest Fr James O'Connell, who was joined on the altar by Chaplin Bernard McCay-Morrissey from the defence forces army camp in Dundalk, Aiken Barracks.

Fr O'Connell said: "Are there really any words to describe this situation or to help? We feel so helpless... we want to take away the pain and we can't."

He said that yesterday was the day that many people returned to work after Christmas but "600-700 of you have put your lives on hold and come here to pay tribute to Susan".

In a moving tribute from her mother, which was read by another member of Susan's family, the mourners were told there were no words to describe the pain of losing her.

Her mother said she had watched her grow from a "cheeky baby to a wonderful lady", that she could never guess what colour her hair would be next, and that she had lost "a daughter and a best friend".

She was laid to rest in St Patrick's cemetery, Dundalk. The funeral of the driver of the car is taking place this morning.