Belfast Telegraph

Tributes paid as tragic Northern Ireland crash victim Mona Maye is laid to rest

The Order of Service for Mona Maye.
The Order of Service for Mona Maye.
Family and Friends walk behind the hearse carrying the coffin of Mona Maye to St Patricks Church, Dungannon for a funeral mass. Photo by Peter Morrison
Family and Friends walk behind the hearse carrying the coffin of Mona Maye from St Patricks Church, Dungannon following a funeral mass. Photo by Peter Morrison
Family and Friends walk behind the hearse carrying the coffin of Mona Maye to St Patricks Church, Dungannon for a funeral mass. Photo by Peter Morrison
Family and Friends walk behind the hearse carrying the coffin of Mona Maye from St Patricks Church, Dungannon following a funeral mass. Photo by Peter Morrison
Family and Friends walk behind the hearse carrying the coffin of Mona Maye to St Patricks Church, Dungannon for a funeral mass. Photo by Peter Morrison
Family and Friends walk behind the hearse carrying the coffin of Mona Maye to St Patricks Church, Dungannon for a funeral mass. Photo by Peter Morrison
The hearse carrying the coffin of Mona Maye to St Patricks Church, Dungannon for a funeral mass. Photo by Peter Morrison
Family and Friends walk behind the hearse carrying the coffin of Mona Maye to St Patricks Church, Dungannon for a funeral mass. Photo by Peter Morrison
Family and Friends walk behind the hearse carrying the coffin of Mona Maye to St Patricks Church, Dungannon for a funeral mass. Photo by Peter Morrison
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

A Co Tyrone grandmother who died tragically on the M1 was a woman of great faith, a priest at her funeral said.

Mona Maye, who was aged 69, was killed in the accident on Monday night.

On Friday, several hundred family members and friends turned out to say a final farewell to the popular and much-loved Dungannon woman.

St Patrick's Church in Dungannon was packed with mourners, who heard parish priest Rev Mr Andy Hegarty tell them she was a woman who lived for her seven grandchildren.

Family and Friends walk behind the hearse carrying the coffin of Mona Maye to St Patricks Church, Dungannon for a funeral mass. Photo by Peter Morrison
Family and Friends walk behind the hearse carrying the coffin of Mona Maye to St Patricks Church, Dungannon for a funeral mass. Photo by Peter Morrison

The mother-of-three was the driver of a blue Volkswagen Bora which was involved in a collision with a silver Volkswagen Golf on the Belfast-bound carriageway close to the Tamnamore junction shortly after 7pm on Monday.

Rev Hegarty said the number of people turning out at the family home on Oaks Road, Dungannon, and for her Funeral Mass yesterday was a testimony to how much loved and respected Mora was.

"Mona was a woman of great faith," he told mourners.

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"She was a great mass-goer and had many, many friends through the church. And you can all hold on to that to remember her by."

Documenting Mrs Maye's early life, Rev Hegarty recalled how Mona and her twin sister Noreen (Conway) will be remembered as two lively girls who were regulars at dances around the area in their youth.

"Having grown up in Swatragh with her sister Noreen, they will be remembered as two lively, two good looking girls," he said.

"Mona started work as a seamstress in Desmonds factory outside Swatragh and had a great love of dancing, and was a regular attender at dances in Dungiven and Kilrea.

"She met her husband Jim in the Brewery Lane in Cookstown and the couple were married in 1974, after which she went on to work in the family blind business, moving to live in Dungannon 20 years ago, where she had made her home ever since.

"The loss of her sister Noreen, who had suffered from cancer, hit her particularly hard.

Family and Friends walk behind the hearse carrying the coffin of Mona Maye from St Patricks Church, Dungannon following a funeral mass. Photo by Peter Morrison
Family and Friends walk behind the hearse carrying the coffin of Mona Maye from St Patricks Church, Dungannon following a funeral mass. Photo by Peter Morrison

"Mona had suffered cancer herself and also suffered the loss of a brother-in-law in tragic circumstances."

Rev Hegarty also told the congregation how Mona's dedication as a strong member of the AA over the last 24 years demonstrated her enormous strength of character.

"I have worked in prisons and seen the struggled people have with alcohol, and for Mona to have dedicated 24 years and made so many friends through AA shows she was a strong character of a woman," he added.

"But the one thing people will remember her for is her wicked sense of humour, her love of chocolate and biscuits, and her children and grandchildren who she loved very dearly.

"And one last thing. Everyone who knew Mona will know of her love for one more thing in her life, her dog Sonny.

"Today we have special dispensation from Pope Francis to play a new hymn in tribute to Mona and Sonny at the end of the service."

Following the Funeral Mass, interment took place in Carland Road Cemetery, Dungannon.

Ms Maye is survived by her daughters Melanie, Emma and Grace and family circle.

Police appealed for anyone who was travelling on the M1 at the time of the accident and who witnessed the collision to contact them in Dungannon or the Collision Investigation Unit on 101, quoting reference number 1826 of December 23.

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