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Rostrevor crash: Teen victims Eoin Farrell and James Miskelly laid to rest

Tears and tributes as hundreds attend funerals for inseparable friends

By Cate McCurry

Published 19/09/2015

A lorry and tractor led the cortege at the funeral of Eoin Farrell yesterday at St Mary’s Church in Rostrevor, Co Down
A lorry and tractor led the cortege at the funeral of Eoin Farrell yesterday at St Mary’s Church in Rostrevor, Co Down
Young mourners form a guard of honour at the funeral of James Miskelly at St Patrick’s Church, Mayobridge, yesterday
James Miskelly
Eoin Farrell

Hundreds of mourners have attended the funerals of two best friends who tragically died side-by-side in a horrific car crash earlier this week.

Teenagers Eoin Farrell and James Miskelly were killed after the car they were travelling in careered off a road in Co Down and hit a wall, sending it into a nearby field.

The crash ignited a fire in a nearby oil tank which then spread to a house causing a significant amount of damage. The family of the 93-year-old woman who lives there says she has been left distressed by the incident.

The collision happened on the Kilbroney Road in Rostrevor on Monday.

A third friend, Che Kane (17), remains in Craigavon Area Hospital where he is being treated for his injuries.

A spokeswoman for the Southern Trust confirmed the teenager is now in a stable condition.

Dozens of mourners attending 17-year-old Eoin's funeral spilled outside St Mary's Star of the Sea Church in Rostrevor as the popular teen was laid to rest.

Friends and family wore checked shirts, jeans, flat caps and brown boots and shoes to symbolise his favourite clothes.

Eoin's three sisters, Sarah-Louise, Laura and Annie, who were comforted by their parents, Gerard and Leon, also wore jeans and black New Holland jackets.

Members from St Bronagh's GAA club formed part of the guard of honour along with pupils from Eoin's former primary school and his secondary school, St Mark's High, as well as Our Lady's Grammar School in Newry, which Eoin's sister attends.

A pair of work-boots, Eoin's wallet, a spanner, a work jacket and a picture of the teenager were included in the memory of gift procession. Fr Colm Wright, who officiated at the mass, spoke of how the end of Eoin's short life has affected the entire community over the past few days.

He said: "So many stories have been shared about Eoin and Leon and Gerard have discovered so many things about their son that they were completely unaware of like whenever Eoin was working in the bar and at the end of the night Eoin would take this man across the road home and make sure he was OK.

"People from everywhere have come together and sat down together, all united and telling of how sorry for what you are all going through."

A lorry cab representing his love for mechanics led the funeral cortege, which was followed by his favourite New Holland tractor.

James , who was also 17 years old, was buried some 10 miles away in Mayobridge where many attending Eoin's funeral also made their way to St Patrick's Parish Church in the small, close-knit village.

The popular teen, who was a former player with the local GAA team, also shared a great love and passion for mechanics and tractors.

A New Holland tractor led his funeral cortege, which was followed by his parents and sisters, who joined hundreds in the packed-out church.

His memory gifts included his pre-school hand-print, a first Holy Communion and Confirmation handbook, a class photograph, school jumper, his work security pass, a New Holland coat and a Bob Marley poster from his bedroom.

Canon John Kearney described how James told his mother he was looking forward to celebrating his 'big' 18th birthday

He added: "He was full of energy with promise and laughter and was someone who never lost the capacity to surprise us and was never predictable.

"A life full of promise was cut short."

He spent the last year working as an apprentice mechanic in Warrenpoint which Canon Kearney described as his niche.

The three friends had gone to St Mark's High School in Warrenpoint together.

Belfast Telegraph

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