Belfast Telegraph

Best friends killed in crash Shane McAnallen and Martin Patterson are buried side by side

Shane McAnallen
Shane McAnallen
Martin Patterson
Claire McNeilly

By Claire McNeilly

Two best friends who were killed in a car crash in Co Louth were buried side by side on Saturday following separate funeral services.

Shane McAnallen and Martin Patterson, who were both aged in their 20s, died in the crash near Carlingford on the Cooley Peninsula in the early hours of last Monday morning.

Mr McAnallen's funeral took place at 9.30am at St Malachy's Church in Castlewellan, followed by burial in St Patrick's cemetery in Bryansford, Co Down.

Mr Patterson's funeral was then held at noon that day at St Patrick's Church in Bryansford, followed by burial in the adjoining graveyard. Both men were buried on the same day as Carlingford drowning victim Ruth Maguire (30), who was laid to rest in her native Belfast in the wedding dress she never got to wear after she died during a friend's hen weekend.

Father Denis McKinlay, who officiated at Mr McAnallen's Requiem Mass, said the deaths of all three young people, who were connected to Bryansford GAC, were a great loss to the local Co Down community.

"I was told there was going to be a lot of young people at Shane's funeral and so I spoke directly to them in the homily," the priest said.

"Young people think they're invincible, that nothing is going to happen to them... and I told them that we don't want to have to come back here again and bury another young person.

terson_-_Read-Only_.jpg
Martin Patterson

"It doesn't seem right that parents should be burying their children and my message to the young people was, really, for them to keep themselves out of danger."

Fr McKinlay said the tenor of the homily was that no one wants to have to bury another young person "because you're precious to us, you're important to us and people love you and we don't want to see any harm come to any one of you."

He also said that both young men were best friends and they were buried side by side in St Patrick's cemetery in Bryansford.

It is understood the car in which they were travelling was heading north, towards the border, on the R173 Carlingford to Omeath road at the time of the crash on Monday, March 18.

It is believed it may have crossed into the southbound lane before crashing into a ditch following a bad bend in the road.

Both men were pronounced dead at the scene and subsequently taken to Louth County Hospital in Dundalk for post-mortem examinations.

Gardai are investigating the crash.

It has also been referred to the Garda Ombudsman as it is believed gardai had tried to stop the car before it crashed.

In a tragic twist, shortly beforehand, divers found the body of Ms Maguire, who was an underage coach at the same GAC club the two young men played for.

The mother-of-three was a nurse assistant at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry, and she shared her Newcastle home with her partner of 12 years, Jim Griffin (35) and their three children Tyler (10), Lydia (7) and Oliver (5).

Mr McAnallen is survived by dad Michael, mum Bernie and sisters Michaela and Laura.

Mr Patterson is survived by parents Colin and Angela, siblings James and Danielle, and grandparents Jim and Joy Brown and Kathleen Patterson.

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