Belfast Telegraph

Tragic Sophie Hamilton had planned her whole life with partner, mourners told

Family and friends at the funeral of Sophie Hamilton
Family and friends at the funeral of Sophie Hamilton
Sophie Hamilton
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

Hundreds of mourners gathered in north Belfast on Wednesday for the funeral of "bright and beautiful" Sophie Hamilton.

The young woman from Ligoniel died suddenly last Friday, leaving her loved ones and the wider community devastated.

Her coffin was carried from the family home in Millview Court as police redirected traffic ahead of the funeral at St Vincent de Paul Parish chapel.

Christmas decorations were still up in the church as Miss Hamilton's parents, Seamus and Elaine, sat with their children, Courtney, Rhianna and Patrick, and Sophie's partner, Sean Quigley.

Days earlier, a vigil had been held at the church, with some using the gathering to call for greater mental health provision in the local area.

Fr Patrick Devlin told the family the community would be with them in the coming days.

"What do we say about Sophie, your wee girl?" he asked.

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"Her mum and dad worked so much to provide for the family, to provide for Sophie.

"She was described to me as kind, lovable and generous of heart. Bright, beautiful and (with) a very beautiful smile and distinctive laugh.

"The love that Elaine and Seamus have for all their children is immense.

"That love will see you through the next days, months and years."

Fr Devlin said the family would remember Sophie as "a beautiful daughter, a beautiful sister and a wonderful friend."

He also told the church of how she and Sean had dreamed of getting married and raising a family together.

"Sean remembers her beautiful smile, her beautiful face and her beautiful life," he said.

"The two of them were planning to get married and knew how many children they were going to have, how many babies and the different names. They had even picked out their dogs. They were planning such a wonderful life together."

Fr Devlin told mourners the family were particularly grateful for the "kindness, generosity and empathy" shown to them in recent days.

In a message of hope to parents, he also brought a baby from the congregation to the front of the church.

"I'd like to share something with you," Fr Devlin said.

"We've all prayed very hard in the last week or so.

"We've all thought about God and we've all thought about death.

"I hope we've all thought about the sanctity of life, the preciousness of life. I share these thoughts with you with the help of a little child.

"Can I ask that we consider this: that our children are more than just body and heart. We have to feed them, we have to guide them, we have to care for their mental health, their wellbeing and their spiritual health.

"We have in our parish a little soul... life is the only option. Please remember this today.

"Sophie wants us all to think about life, so do Elaine and Seamus.

"Let us pray that we have the wisdom, the grace and the courage to love our children."

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