Moving tributes to young accident victims

Thousands of people gathered at funeral masses in Cloverhill and Roscommon earlier this week to mourn for Padraig McHugh (17), and Kieran Kelly (17), who died tragically in a car accident near Roscommon town last Friday morning. Family members, friends, school friends, and teachers remembered two teenagers whose infectious good humour who touched the lives of people from County Roscommon and beyond. Teammates and classmates smiled at the anecdotes of two short lives that were told by Fr. Kevin Fallon and Fr. Donal Morris at the funeral Masses on Monday and Tuesday. Fr. Morris noted that the two young men had been described as ‘likeable rogues’ by their teachers at Roscommon Community College and said that they were loved by everyone who knew them. Padraig and Kieran were members of a group of very close friends who were ‘rogues, but likeable rogues, because any devilment they engaged with was for fun and never with malice,’ according to Fr. Morris.  In his Homily at Kieran Kelly’s funeral on Monday in the Sacred Heart Church in Roscommon Fr. Kevin Fallon remarked that all those who knew the deceased were charmed by his good humour, by his great wit, and by his smile. Recently Kieran travelled to Galway and ‘masqueraded’ as a second-year chemistry student at NUI Galway in order to impress the ladies. He was a hugely popular employee of JJ Harlow’s Pub in Roscommon, where he was known to everyone as ‘Wobbles’ because of the way he collected glasses. ‘Anyone that knew him couldn’t but like him because of his good humour and his smile: he could smile and laugh his way out of everything,’ said Fr. Fallon. Addressing a congregation on Tuesday that filled Cloverhill Church and the large courtyard that surrounds it, Fr. Dónal Morris reflected on Padraig’s close relationship with his parents and his grandmother, and noted that from an early age he had loved hunting and fishing with his father. ‘One can only imagine the loss that Padraig felt when his father died and that companionship ended,’ said Fr. Morris. The two childhood friends shared a passion for sport, and were teammates on school and club teams. Kieran and Padraig both played underage football for Oran and also represented Roscommon Community College earlier this year. Fr. Morris remembered that Padraig ‘could name every soccer player and what team they play for’ and that he loved to watch and discuss matches with his grandmother Bridget. Fr. Fallon reflected on Kieran’s athletic talent, and commented that the young Mr. Kelly had played hurling, rugby, soccer, and football.  A massive funeral procession brought Roscommon town to a standstill on Monday afternoon when Kieran Kelly’s remains were brought from the Sacred Heart Church to Roscommon cemetery. He is survived by his parents Tom and Marie, by his brothers Declan, Aidan, and Enda, and by his sister Sandra. Padraig McHugh was buried beside his father in Oran cemetery on Tuesday afternoon after mass in Cloverhill church. Thousands of people comforted his heart-broken mother Angela, his brothers William and Paul, his sisters Brigid and Aileen, and his grandmother Bridget. Prayers were said at both funerals for Colm Mee (17) and Paul O’Grady (18), who were travelling with Kieran and Padraig when the tragic accident occurred last Friday. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anamacha dílis.