Belfast Telegraph

A mother's grief as her 'pride and joy' Caolan Page laid to rest

By Brendan McDaid

Hundreds of mourners at the funeral of a teenager found with head injuries near Londonderry’s Walls heard him described as his mother’s “pride and joy”.

There were heartbreaking scenes yesterday at the funeral of A-level student Caolan Page (19), who died after sustaining head injuries on a night out in the city.

The young man, who lived in Co Donegal but who went to school at St Columb’s College in Derry, was laid to rest after a funeral Mass in Thornhill.

Caolan’s mother Caroline and stepfather Martin led the funeral procession from the family home in Killea to the Church of the Assumption in Thornhill.

The talented young artist’s classmates from St Columb’s College filed along the church entrance as his coffin, surrounded by white floral tributes with the messages ‘Our Caolan’ and ‘Legend’, was carried from the hearse.

Hundreds packed into pews and aisles for the service, while hundreds more gathered outside.

The choir from the all-boys grammar school sang hymns.

Fr Michael McCaughey concelebrated Mass with Monsignor Eamonn Martin, a former principal of St Columb's College.

Fr McCaughey described Caolan as “someone who evidently loved life and was himself greatly loved”.

He added: “For Caroline, Caolan was her pride and joy, the centre part of family life for Martin and Caroline and the entire family circle. Caolan was courteous and kind, even from primary school days caring for others.

“He was someone with determination to do well, wanting to do better, whose creative side was so reflected in his art. Evidently he loved people and had an affectionate and gentle approach. For many of his friends he was like a big brother, and was respected by his college friends and others.”

Fr McCaughey touched on how Caolan had some time ago signed up to become an organ donor, stating: “He has enriched the wellbeing of another person’s life”.

He added: “So many hopes and dreams were shattered in the early hours of last Saturday morning.

“His death has come so suddenly and the pain and heartbreak are so intense.

“There are many questions and people are lost for words.So many ask why can we not wake from this nightmare? All we can offer today, in a spirit of faith and love, is a sense of shared loss, a word of comfort, and the assurance of love. It is so important to weep and to grieve and we do so in the spirit of hope as we cherish so many memories.”

Fr McCaughey urged mourners not to ponder on what Caolan could have achieved, but on what he had achieved in his 19 years.

The teenager was laid to rest at the City Cemetery in Derry.

Caolan died on Sunday after sustaining head injuries the previous morning. Detectives do not believe a crime was committed.

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