Belfast Telegraph

Priest tells mourners at Maurice McCloughan funeral: 'I've never witnessed such sorrow'

By Cate McCurry

A Co Tyrone teenager who died alongside his best friend in a car crash has been remembered as someone who "won the hearts" of the young and old.

More than a thousand mourners attended the funeral of Maurice McCloughan (19) from Fintona, who was killed in the smash outside Omagh on Saturday.

Friend Killian Doherty, also 19 and from Drumquin, will be buried today.

There were emotional scenes as Mr McCloughan's friends and family joined hundreds of others to say their final farewells.

Members of Fintona Pearses GAC, who the teen played for from a young age, Drumquin Wolfe Tones GAC and Dromore Enterprise and Business College formed a guard of honour as the funeral cortege arrived at the church.

Mourners later applauded as the remains were taken for burial in the nearby graveyard.

Speaking at his funeral in St Lawrence's Church, Canon Patrick Marron said Mr McCloughan (below) was a "great family man".

"Numbers of people impossible to count have stood in solidarity with the McCloughan family over recent days. People called at the family home not just to offer their sympathy, but to also say a prayer for the repose of Maurice's soul," he said.

"He has been described as a 'fantastic son' and a 'golden boy' by his family. You take his success in the GAA - he was very talented, won many awards and captained many teams. He was a family man, there is a great bond between the whole family, he was very likeable, had an infectious smile and won the hearts of young and old.

"He was on the cusp of greater things. Not only did he use his talents for success but he also studied at St John's in Dromore and from there he went to South West College, where he was studying an electrical course and as well as working at the weekends. He also worked in construction with his dear friend, who had shared life together and shared death together on the same occasion.

"I have never seen an expression of grief, never witnessed such a measure of sorrow.

"He was a family man. He's the youngest boy, his father said he was a fantastic son and uncle. He spent six hours outside the maternity ward where his sister was giving birth to a boy.

"That boy, Daithi, was his favourite nephew. He was very close to his mother Margaret and every Friday night they watched a film together while they enjoyed a pizza. The message I tried to get across to people is that, like Maurice, they should put their focus and complete attention to what they are doing, particularly if they are involved in a sport or a trade, that their focus should be on doing their very best and it would be a good memory to Maurice if they tried to emulate that part of his life."

Mr Doherty's family was too upset to speak, but his sister Fatima posted online: "Absolutely heartbroken. Life will never be the same again, will miss you so much, love you loads."

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