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Funeral of Donegal crash victim Amy Loughrey hears how 'joy of Christmas' replaced with 'disbelief, anguish and broken hearts'

'An event 12 miles away and a knock on the door meant that life was utterly changed'

By Claire Williamson

Mourners at the funeral of a young woman killed in a road crash have been told how her family had the joy of Christmas replaced with "disbelief, anguish and broken hearts".

Londonderry woman Amy Loughrey was killed in a road crash in Co Donegal.

The 25-year-old was fatally injured when her car was in a collision with another vehicle near Fahan on Thursday night.

She had just completed a shift at the Red Door Country House where she worked and was on her way home to the Waterside area.

Mourners gathered for Requiem Mass at St Columb's church on Chapel Road on Boxing Day.

Father Michael Canny told the congregation how as he visited the family on Friday morning - they were "de-christmasing".

"Tinsil, wrapped gifts, decorations and cards, the symbols of Christmas wholly inappropriate.  Likewise the lights on the Christmas tree were put out – symbolising how a bright light in the Loughrey family had also been extinguished.

"The hope and joy of Christmas had been replaced by disbelief, anguish and broken hearts because Amy would not be coming home alive again. An event 12 miles away and a knock on the door meant that life was utterly changed. Indeed for many people life will never be the same again. "

Amy was described as a "bright and radiant light" for all who knew her and someone who was "always generous with her time".

"She was always kind and thoughtful and empathetic with an infectious smile. She loved travelling – worked endless hours so as to be able to go on the next trip", Fr Canny said.

"She spent a few years in Gran Canaria teaching English as a foreign language - but no matter where she was, she always loved coming back home.  As well as her parents and sister being important to her, she had a special place in her heart for her nana Maureen and auntie Sandra and she was a great support to them."

Fr Canny told the congregation that the "true reality" in this tragedy was that the "light of a bubbly, full of life and always giving person, who had so much more to give has been extinguished".

Amy was a former pupil of Oakgrove Integrated College in Derry.

Garda superintendent Eugene McGovern appealed to anyone who was on that stretch of road between 10.45pm and 10.55pm to contact them.

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