Teenager died tragically last Wednesday
Thousands of mourners gathered at the Holy Rosary Church in Greystones on Saturday to bid a final farewell to popular teenager Grace Rush.
Fourteen year old Grace who was affectionately known as ‘Rushie' died tragically on Wednesday, November 9.
From Killincarrig Road Grace was a very active and gifted sports star turning her hand to many disciplines including playing Gaelic with Éire Óg GAA in Greystones, rugby with Greystones Rugby Club, Golf at Greystones Golf Club and hockey with Bray Hockey Club.
Grace was a talented footballer playing in the forward line with Éire Óg. In a moving statement Éire Óg GAA wrote: “All at Éire Óg, Greystones are heartbroken to learn of the passing of our friend and club mate Grace Rush. Grace, known to her teammates and coaches as Rushie, was a key member of our U 14 and U 16 teams. Only recently she played an outstanding role in both teams winning their Wicklow County Championships. She played in the forward line usually and was always a prolific goal scorer from the time she started with the club many years ago, she was just a natural footballer. A dedicated player blessed with an abundance of skill augmented by a tenacious and fearless attitude on the pitch. Her enthusiasm at all times was infectious, always smiling and in great form at all training sessions and matches. A real team player who gave her utmost for the team. Her humility and respect for her teammates, coaches, opposition and everyone she met is a credit to herself and her family. She will always be loved and admired by everyone she knows. Forever in our hearts and minds there will always be only one Rushie.”
Grace along with her teammates were to be presented with their county medals on Saturday, the dy of the funeral.
Poignantly the medals were presented to her family on Friday night and on Saturday they, along with her number 12 GAA jersey, were placed beside her white coffin. The mourners heard how Grace had reecently scored 1:1 in Éire Óg’s victory over Tinahely in a U14 A final.
Another passion of Grace’s was rugby and she was a very accomplished player played at both Under 14 and Under 16 level with Greystones RFC. In a tribute to her the club wrote: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Grace and her family, her friends and all of those who have been impacted by this heart-breaking news. Rest in peace Grace. She will be missed by her heartbroken teammates on our Girls U14 and U16s squads, her coaches and mentors and the entire Greystones RFC community.”
Bray Hockey Club also paid tribute to Grace. “A recent new member to Bray HC, Grace quickly became a popular and well-loved member who played on one of our minor teams. Grace will be sorely missed by all of us here in Bray HC and across all of her other sports., her school and other passions and hobbies.”
Grace was a second year student at St. Gerard’s, Bray where she had a wide circle of friends and will be deeply missed. School principal Tom Gerahety said: "Grace brought joy and laughter into the lives of everyone who knew her. Grace had the most perfect ‘smiling eyes’ and was always 'a beacon of light’, shining and radiant. She was the perfect student – simply brilliant academically, a fantastic role model to everyone. Grace was accomplished and exemplary in all things, and adored all activities she participated in. Grace was blessed with a dazzling, sparkling personality and a beaming, glowing smile to light up every room. Our school community of students, colleagues and parents are devastated and heartbroken. Our thoughts and prayers are with Grace’s family and her many friends. Suaimhness síoraí ort Grace ina luí i measc na Naoimh.”
An estimated crowd of between 4,000 and 5,000 lined the streets of Greystones on Saturday as Grace was taken to her final resting place while a guard of honour comprising many of her teammates walked alongside the hearse.
Grace was laid to rest on Saturday in Redford Cemetery, Greystones. She is survived by her heartbroken parents Stephen and Orla, brothers Joshua and Darragh and large extended family.