A 20-year-old woman who lost her life in a horrific car crash at the weekend was a “funny and carefree person,” mourners at her funeral heard today.
Shiva Devine, a mother-of-one who lived in Co Fermanagh, was one of two people who died in an accident in Bundoran, Co Donegal in the early hours of Sunday morning.
A funeral will be held tomorrow for the second deceased car crash victim, Conall McAleer, who was also in his 20s and lived in Co Fermanagh.
A third person, a woman in her 20s, was left fighting for her life, while a further two passengers, both men in their 20s, were left with what police in the Republic of Ireland described as “serious” injuries.
Shiva Devine’s funeral was held at St Brigid’s Church in Ballintra today.
Parish Priest, Fr Joseph O’Donnell, compared the tragedy to a “blackout”.
“When the electricity suddenly and unexpectedly goes off, everything stops,” he said in a touching homily.
“The television goes blank. The radio goes silent. The cooker goes cold. The lift jerks to a halt. And worst of all, the lights go out. And we are plunged into darkness.
“The tragic deaths of Shiva Devine and Conall McAleer were so sudden, like a blackout. We are unable to understand it. The only thing we can do, just as when a blackout occurs is to rush for a light, any light, even that of a small candle.”
Fr O’Donnell added: “We only have Christ our lord now to help us penetrate this awful darkness.”
He described how he “shuddered with grief” when he learned of the crash.
“When I recall the news of the terrible car crash in Bundoran last Sunday morning, I shuddered with grief as I recalled another horrific car smash on July 11, 2010.
“At nine o’clock that Sunday evening I was called to Leterkenny General Hospital, and told to be prepared for many casualties. As you know by now, that was the Clonmany Road tragedy, which ended with the loss of eight lives.”
He continued: “I had hoped that I never would have to face anything like that ever again. It took me two years to recover. While the circumstances and the details of Sunday night’s crash in Bundoran may be totally different, the one true fact remains — young lives have been lost. Shiva Devine and Conall McAleer have been taken from us.
“We will never see Shiva’s smile again or the funny and carefree person that she was. And to all of you young people here this morning I say, you are not indestructible, you are very fragile, please handle your lives with care.”
Conall’s funeral will take place tomorrow at St Joseph’s Church in Ederney.