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Wedding dress burial for car victim

By Matthew McCreary

One of the two young Ulster women who were killed in a tragic road accident at the weekend was being buried today in her wedding dress.

Claire Wakelam (23), who died alongside her close friend and neighbour, mother of two Lisa McFerran (25), was due to marry next summer. A funeral for both women was taking place today in their home village of Rasharkin.

Lisa and Claire, who was originally from Birmingham, died after they were struck by a car on the Ballybogey Road shortly after 2am on Saturday.

Both women were good friends who lived on the same quiet cul-de-sac in Rasharkin. Claire had been due to marry Lisa's older brother, William O'Boyle (27), next summer.

He described how his fiancee will be buried in the dress she had picked out for their forthcoming wedding.

"She always wanted me to see her in her wedding dress, but every time I asked her she said she wanted to keep it for a surprise," he said.

"We're burying her in her dress because she wanted me to see it on her, that was her wish.

"That's all I can do, is give her her day in her dress."

Mr O'Boyle also described how he had been left feeling "lost" since the weekend tragedy.

He said: "They were the two most important people gone at the same time. I'm going to be totally lost without them."

Mr O'Boyle said that he and Claire had met four years ago when he and a friend, who was a cousin of Claire's, had paid a visit to her in Birmingham.

"We just clicked straight away. I went back over a couple of times after that. We got engaged just before we left England. It seems quick to some people to be engaged after only a year, but sometimes you just know."

Mr O'Boyle described his fiancee as a "happy and big-hearted" person. "Nobody had a bad word to say about her. She was a real people person, she could have talked to anybody."

Mr O'Boyle said of his sister Lisa: "She was the kind of person who once you had known her, she touched your heart."

A joint Requiem Mass was due to be celebrated for both women in St Mary's Church, Rasharkin.

Belfast Telegraph


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