A 25-year-old woman from Londonderry who lost her life in a road crash in Co Donegal just days before Christmas was described as a “bright and bubbly person” at her funeral.
Amy Loughrey was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision on Thursday night.
She had been driving home from her job at the Red Door Country House in Co Donegal when the two-vehicle collision took place after 10.30pm near the village of Fahan.
Waterside parish priest Fr Michael Canny described Amy as “a bright and radiant light for all who knew her” in a touching homily at her funeral on Boxing Day morning.
He said: “The sadness and sense of loss on an occasion like this is always great and is further magnified as our communities are celebrating the great family feast of Christmas.
“When my colleague (Fr Sean O’Donnell) and myself arrived at the Loughrey family home in the early hours of Friday morning, I could see people ‘de-Christmasing’.
“Tinsel, wrapped gifts, decorations and cards, the symbols of Christmas wholly inappropriate.”
Fr Canny added: “Likewise the lights on the Christmas tree were put out – symbolising how a bright light in the Loughrey family had also been extinguished.
“The hope and joy of Christmas had been replaced by disbelief, anguish and broken hearts because Amy would not be coming home alive again.
“An event 12 miles away and a knock on the door meant that life was utterly changed. Indeed for many people life will never be the same again.
“We gather frequently for Christian funerals and that’s ok, because usually a person has lived a long and full life, but our gathering today is not ok.
“It’s not ok because of the sudden and young death of Amy. Our gathering turns the natural order that we expect on its head.
“Amy who was a bright and radiant light for all who knew her was always generous with her time, she was always kind and thoughtful and empathetic with an infectious smile.
“She loved travelling – worked endless hours so as to be able to go on the next trip. She spent a few years in Gran Canaria teaching English as a foreign language – but no matter where she was, she always loved coming back home.
“As well as her parents and sister being important to her, she had a special place in her heart for her nana Maureen and auntie Sandra and she was a great support to them.
“While Amy’s death will be another statistic, when the final number of road deaths for 2016 are compiled, the true reality is that in this tragedy the light of a bubbly, full of life and always giving person, who had so much more to give has been extinguished.”
Amy’s place of work, the Red Door Country House, closed on Friday and was also shut on Christmas Day as a mark of respect.
A statement posted on their Facebook site read: “We are in the process of contacting all those with bookings and thank you in advance for your understanding. Our thoughts are with the family of our dear colleague and friend.”
Amy was a former pupil of Oakgrove Integrated College in the Waterside area of Londonderry. She was laid to rest after the funeral in St Columb’s Church on Chapel Road.
Gardai want to hear from anyone driving on the road between 10.45pm and 10.55pm on the night of the accident.