Belfast Telegraph

Lesley-Ann McCarragher funeral: 'She will forever be my best friend, cousin and our beautiful princess, we love you'

Mourners heard how Lesley-Ann was 'ready to take on the next challenges in the race of life'

By Claire Williamson

The cousin of a 19-year-old woman killed in a hit-and-run has paid an emotional tribute to her saying she will "forever be my bestest friend, cousin and our beautiful princess" as her funeral took place in Armagh.

The service started at 1.30pm in First Presbyterian Church, Armagh, followed by interment in Aghavilly parish churchyard.

Pictures of Lesley-Ann during her life as she grew up were projected inside the church where more than 400 people gathered to pay their respects.

Lesley-Ann was jogging near her family home on the Monaghan Road when she was knocked down on Saturday.

The Reverend Tony Davidson, who knew the popular teenager from a young age, conducted the service today.

Lesley-Ann's teenage cousin Emma Monaghan was comforted from the stand as she delivered a scripture reading.

'Our beautiful princess, we love you'

She said: "Lesley-Ann will forever be my bestest friend and cousin and our beautiful princess. We love you."

In his address Rev Davidson said that Lesley-Ann grew up as a unique person.

Addressing her parents he said: "Lesley-Ann felt loved, appreciated and nurtured in your home."

He catalogued her many achievements in sport and academics as well as completing her bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh awards and becoming head girl at City of Armagh High School.

Rev Davidson said: "She had all the characteristics to which any pupil would aspire.

"Lesley-Ann didn't have to be told to work. She was hard working attentive, modest and co-operative.

"She was literally a high-achiever."

Mourners heard how Lesley-Ann was both "good fun and good natured".

'Achievements masked humility'

Rev Davidson said: "Her achievements were masked by her humility.

"With her bubbly personality, beautiful smile and hearty laugh, on Saturday morning she was ready to take on the next challenges in the race of life.

"But in one second, everything changed.

"Lesley-Ann was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

'In the midst of tragedy we have seen best in human nature'

On behalf of Lesley-Ann's family he thanked all who helped at the scene as well as the emergency services, doctors and nurses who cared for her at the scene and in hospital.

"Thank you so much to neighbours and friends who have been supportive.

"In the midst of tragedy we have seen the very best in human nature.

"What happened proves to us how very fragile life is plans do not always work out", he said.

Mourners heard how Lesley-Ann had been a One Direction fan and had recently graduated in her musical tastes to a love of Snow Patrol. She attended one of their concerts not long ago.

The minister drew upon one of their songs to give courage to her family and friends.

He said: "Then in one little moment it all implodes, this isn't everything you are. Breathe deeply in the silence no sudden moves. This isn't everything you are. Just take the hand that's offered and hold on tight, this isn't everything you are.

"There is joy not far from here. I know there is. This isn't everything you are."

Belfast Telegraph

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