Belfast Telegraph

Funerals held for three Donegal women killed in car crash

By Donna Deeney

Thousands of mourners will gather today in Co Donegal for the funerals of a mother and daughter and their friend who died in a car crash.

Margaret McGonigle (69) and her daughter Mairead Mundy (37) and Rachel Battles (39), a mother-of-four, all lost their lives last Thursday.

Requiem Mass for Mrs McGonigle and daughter Mairead will be celebrated at 11am at the Church of St Joseph and St Conal in Bruckless, with funeral mass for Mrs Battles beginning in the same church at 2.30pm.

Shock at such a tragic loss of life has reverberated throughout the community of Ardree, where the three women lived.

Since then tributes have been paid to the three women, perhaps most poignantly by Ms Mundy's 13-year-old son Caoimhin O'Neill, who also lost his father in tragic circumstances eight years ago.

"R.I.P Mammy Nanny and Rachael fly high god bless GBNF (gone but never forgotten)," he wrote on his Facebook page.

Parish priest Fr James Sweeney, who knew all the deceased well, will officiate at the funerals.

He described their deaths as among the worst tragedies he has had to deal with in the 32 years since he joined the priesthood.

He said: "The whole community is still stunned, but starting to come to terms with the terrible tragedy.

"There is still disbelief and shock.

"Personally, I am coming to terms with having to officiate at three funerals in two services as best as I can. These things are never easy, but you face up to it."

Following Requiem Masses, the three women will be laid to rest in the cemetery adjoining the Church of St Joseph and St Conal.

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