Parents of Banbridge schoolboy Mark Colgan offer support to van driver

Funeral of Mark Colgan at St. Mary's Church, Lisnagade outside Banbridge, Co. Down.

Funeral of Mark Colgan at St. Mary's Church, Lisnagade outside Banbridge, Co. Down.

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The parents of tragic teenager Mark Colgan who died after being hit by a van outside his home have forgiven the driver involved.

A mile and a half guard of honour was yesterday held for the 14-year-old – from his home on the Scarva Road, Banbridge to Saint Mary’s Chapel, Lisnagade.

Mark Colgan

Mark Colgan

More than 1,000 mourners attended the service for the St Colman’s College, Newry, pupil who was rushed to Craigavon Area Hospital after the 8am collision on Thursday but died a short time later. The van driver was arrested but later released unconditionally.

Members of his local Aghaderg/Ballyvarley GAA Club, of which Mark was an active member, were among those who lined the route to the chapel.

Yesterday Parish Priest, the Very Rev Colum Wright, in his homily, said he saw Mark’s parents Felicity and Mervyn meet with the driver of the van involved in the accident.

“Sitting in the room along with everyone I witnessed love, compassion, forgiveness, understanding and heartache like I don’t think I have ever witnessed before in my 26 years of priesthood,” he said.

He said he saw Felicity and Mervyn and the van driver “hugging each other, supporting each other, holding each other up, giving each other strength, crying together, smiling together, praying together and assuring each other that it was all an accident and that no one was to blame.

“It was the nearest thing to a scene from the gospel that I have ever witnessed, because it imitated all the teachings and the love of Jesus.”