Belfast Telegraph

Crash victim (19) shining light who touched many lives, mourners told

By Donna Deeney

Hundreds of mourners gathered for the funeral of a 19-year-old have heard how he was an "amazing young man who had so much to live for".

Colin Archibald died in a single vehicle collision on the Feeney Road near Dungiven in the early hours of Sunday.

Requiem Mass took place at St Matthew's Church, Drumsurn, where Fr Joseph Varghese spoke of the impact the teenager's death had on his parents Malachy and Natasha and siblings Raphael and Charlene, as well as the wider community.

He said: "I call for God's comforting arms to be placed around you all as you attempt to come to terms with this awful tragedy which has undoubtedly torn your lives apart since you received the devastating news on Sunday morning.

"The outpouring of obvious grief from this whole community and of surrounding districts has been so obvious over the last few days.

"Colin was an amazing young man who had so much to live for, so much potential - he was such a good person in every way.

"He was an absolute credit to his family, to his previous schools and to his community.

"He had so many leadership qualities and would have been central to the life of this community for many decades ahead. He was happiest when doing something for others - always putting others in front of himself."

Mr Archibald was a student at the North West College, where he was studying electrical installation.

Fr Varghese continued: "Colin was qualifying as an electrician and would, undoubtedly, have been a major success.

"In that noble profession, he would have been responsible for bringing light into the homes and lives of those he was working for. In actual fact, this would just have been what he had been doing for years by his personality as he brightened up the lives of so many, children and adults alike, by his kindness, goodness and generosity of spirit. The number of lives he touched is phenomenal considering his tender years. It is certainly the mark of a very special person.

"Now for us, this shining light, this beacon that was already shining so brightly, has gone out, like a sudden power cut but, unfortunately, we can't call Colin to fix it for us. When the news filtered through on Sunday morning that Colin had lost his life in an accident, the whole area was stunned into silent disbelief.

"We had no warning, no preparation as we were just cast into darkness, with so many lives turned upside down in a few minutes."

Fr Varghese addressed part of his homily directly to the many young friends of Mr Archibald in the church and asked them to take care on the roads.

He said: "To Colin's young friends, I thank you for the love and kindness you have shown him and I ask that if you find this awful tragedy too difficult then talk to each other and support each other or discuss your feelings with someone you trust.

"Don't hold it in as that is just too painful. I urge you all to take great care on the roads. This village has lost too many wonderful young people of immense potential and are so much poorer for it."

Mr Archibald was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery.

Belfast Telegraph

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