Belfast Telegraph

AP McCoy's mum touched so many lives, mourners told

By Michelle Weir

Hundreds of mourners yesterday attended the funeral of Claire McCoy, mother of former champion jockey AP McCoy.

Family and friends joined figures from the world of racing - including billionaire horse owner JP McManus - for Requiem Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes church in Moneyglass.

Parish priest Fr Paddy McWilliams told a packed congregation that seeing AP "getting old" and daughter Kelly being married was everything that Mrs McCoy had hoped for.

She had admitted previously worrying about her horse racing son's safety on the race track saying that it was not easy to watch him in action.

Fr McWilliams described Mrs McCoy as "a wonderful wife, devoted mother and grandmother and sister".

He said: "She was a great friend to all sorts of people.

"She fed everyone who came into her house. It never cost her a thought.

"We pray that Claire will find rest and for those who are left behind, it is a different and sadder story for them.

"They are still a long way off. It is now a struggle to come to terms with God who has brought Claire home.

"The beautiful relationship you have with your mother is that foundation stone on which your life has been built.

"Nothing can take the place of that sort of relationship.

"Meanwhile, they will cherish the memories of Claire and they have many.

"We offer them our condolences because we know that a huge void has been left."

Fr McWilliams said that Mrs McCoy had "touched so many people in different ways, so many local people who go in and out of her shop who stopped to have a chat with her".

"Many of us would have met Claire at Mass.

"We knew she was there by the sound of her cough and on occasion, the sound of her mobile and other occasions, the rattle of her distinctive bracelet."

Fr McWilliams went on to tell hundreds of mourners of Mrs McCoy's early years in Moneyglass when she had lived in a house beside the hall before agreeing reluctantly to move "round to the shop" which she came to love.

He said: "She loved the constant stream of people coming in and out of the shop.

"Calmness and serenity was how she dealt with her sickness.

"She bore her own cross with dignity, with acceptance.

"Many people knew Claire through her children. She mixed in great circles at times but Claire's feet remained firmly on the ground.

"We give thanks to God for the life of Claire, the wonderful life she had.

"We pray that Claire's family is sustained by their faith and their memories."

Prayers were also offered for the medical staff who cared for Mrs McCoy at Antrim Area Hospital.

In an online tribute to his mum after she passed away, earlier this week, AP said: "My beautiful mother Claire passed away peacefully this evening with her family around.

"The most incredible wife to Dad (Peadar) and mother to myself, Annemarie, Roisin, Jane, Colm and Kelly."

After Requiem Mass, Mrs McCoy was buried in the adjoining church cemetery.

AP McCoy was Champion Jockey a record 20 consecutive times before his retirement in 2015. He received a knighthood in January 2016.

Belfast Telegraph

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