Body of Derry nun Sister Clare killed in Equador quake to be returned home
The body of tragic nun, Sister Clare Crockett, who was killed in the Ecuador earthquake, will be accompanied back to Derry by fellow nuns from the Home of the Mother Order who will return her to her grieving family.
Sister Clare's family had been looking forward to seeing her for the first time in years this September when she was due home for her sister's wedding.
Instead they are preparing for her funeral at the Long Tower chapel.
The devastation and chaos in Ecuador that has followed the earthquake last Saturday night is hampering efforts to have her body brought home, but Colin Bell from the Newry-based Kevin Bell repatriation fund is hopeful things will be finalised within days.
Mr Bell set up the fund - which has helped dozens of families across Northern Ireland - in memory of his own son who died in Spain in 2014.
Mr Bell said: "We are working towards bringing Sister Clare back to her family but the situation in Ecuador is tricky because of the earthquake and a six-hour time difference, but we are expecting to have arrangements in place fairly soon.
"This will help the family come to terms with their loss and give them a degree of comfort in these terribly sad circumstances."
The Crockett family have been surrounded by neighbours, friends and dozens of Sister Clare's former school friends who are giving enormous comfort by sharing their memories. Fr Brendan Collins of Long Tower Church, where Sister Clare's funeral will take place, said: "Sister Clare's mother and father and her two sisters are still in a state of shock, still trying to come to terms with what has happened.
"The fear and anxiety they felt when they heard about the earthquake and then that Sister Clare was missing and later when the news came through that the worst had happened, has devastated them completely, but the house is very busy with so many people coming and going.
"It is terribly sad Clare will return home in this way but her family are grateful for the fact that she is coming home and that they have been helped so much by the Irish Government and the Kevin Bell Repatriation Fund."
A Book of Condolence will be opened on Friday at the Long Tower Church after evening Mass which will be offered for Sister Clare, her family and for all the victims of the earthquake.