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Road death victim Donal Kildea laid to rest

Young father described as a great family man who was devoted to baby daughter

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 27/07/2016

The funeral cortege of Donal Kildea makes its way to the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Barrack Street
The funeral cortege of Donal Kildea makes its way to the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Barrack Street
Donal Kildea

A young father killed in a car crash was "a great family man" devoted to his baby daughter, mourners at his funeral heard.

Donal Kildea died in the accident near Donemana in Co Tyrone on Friday morning.

The 24-year-old was from the Springhill area of Strabane.

His funeral took place yesterday at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in the town.

Parish priest Fr Declan Boland told mourners it was a sad reminder of the fragility of life.

"In their wildest dreams, the Kildea family could never have imagined that they would be here this morning for this funeral Mass for Donal," he said.

"One minute, you are going about your daily work, a knock comes to your door and there is a policeman standing there and in a flash you know that something is terribly wrong and that your life will never be the same again.

"It just takes a few seconds for our lives to be turned absolutely upside-down."

Fr Boland told the funeral service that Donal's mother, Linda, partner Courtney and baby daughter Tilly were left with a grief "so deep and so raw".

"To lose your only son in such circumstances as Linda has done brings such pain and heartbreak that few of us who have not been through it can ever imagine," he explained.

Fr Boland said Donal was a hard worker and excellent mechanic who loved fishing, hunting and cars.

"He would always help you out and was a great family man and held everyone together," he added.

"His pride and joy was Courtney and, of course, Tilly, who I baptised late last year. His other great love was Rosie, the wee terrier dog."

The accident happened on the Longland Road near Donemana.

Donal was travelling in a silver Peugeot when it struck a bridge.

During the service, prayers were said for a second young man injured in the accident.

"This tragedy is a reminder to all the young people gathered here that life is fragile," Fr Boland said.

After the service Donal was buried in Strabane Cemetery.

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