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Last of the 8 crash victims is laid to rest

A BROKEN-hearted mother buried her second son today.

Philomena McEleney (50), of Clonmany, said goodbye to the son she described as her "right hand man" at a moving funeral this morning.

James McEleney (23) is the last of the eight victims of last Sunday's horror crash to be buried this week.

And his brave mother said she blames nobody for the tragedy that occurred less than a kilometre from the family home. The loving mum will lay her boy with a "heart of gold" in a grave beside his older brother, Daniel (28), who took his own life in 2004.

"He was very close to his brother," Philomena revealed.

The mother of six said she felt no blame or anger for the driver of the car -- the VW Passat, in which her son and six of his young friends lost their lives.

The driver Shaun Kelly remains in a serious condition in the Intensive Care Unit of Letterkenny General Hospital. He has yet to learn of the tragedy in which his seven friends and pensioner Hugh Friel (66) lost their lives.

"There is no one to blame. James was in the car, I don't blame anyone for that. It was fate," she said.

Philomena is praying that Shaun recovers and does not blame him.

"No one wants to bury their child but you can't predict when death comes."

The devastated mum also told how she had to wait around three hours in her home before she found out for sure if her son was dead.

James' body lay only yards from her home on the treacherous Buncrana to Clonmany road while 'rumours' circulated about who was dead.

"I was here in the house for a few hours. The guards, ambulance and fire brigade, were up there [at the crash scene]," she said. "I heard all these rumours, people trying to work out who was hurt. People were saying only one was dead but no one thought it was James.

"I thought he might've had injuries but maybe that he'd come out alright."

But it was not until 3.30am that she learned the truth. "Part of me felt he was dead but as a mother, you still hope," she said.

hnews@herald.ie


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