herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Family's heartbreak as tragic Kelly laid to rest

DEVASTATED: Students say tearful farewell

A PAIR of high heels, a stuffed toy dog and a ball of wool were gently placed on the altar in front of the closed coffin.

Kelly Gregan was a bubbly 20-year-old who loved to dance, drink wine and have fun.

Her grief-stricken mother, Pauline, and sisters Kirsty (18) and Lorna (12) sat in silence.

The young girls held a white lily in their hands as they choked back tears.

Pauline swallowed hard and put her arm around little Lorna when she started to cry as Kelly's high heels were brought to the altar, to represent her love of life, dancing and a good night out.

The young art student was doing what she loved until she was robbed from her family. She had danced the night away and was trying to cross the road with her pal Gillian Fitzgerald after they left the nightclub early on Sunday morning.

It was supposed to be another girly night out for the bank holiday weekend. The girls had returned to their hometown of Gorey, Co Wexford, when a driver sped through traffic lights and knocked them down. Gillian remained in hospital yesterday as Kelly's family and friends filed into a tiny church on Tara Hill.

The sun shone and the birds sang as students of Limerick College of Art and Design, who travelled to the Mass, formed a guard of honour to mark the arrival of Kelly's remains. They each held single pink roses.

A heartbroken young man looked distressed as he pushed the coffin towards the altar. He took his seat next to Kirsty, Pauline and Lorna, who looked at the floor.

Hundreds of mourners listened intently as Fr William Flynn described how Kelly's death came out of the blue.

"Death has robbed you of something so precious. You had Kelly for such a short time," he said.

However, Fr Flynn pleaded with the sobbing young women, who held hands, not to focus solely on Kelly's last moments.

Instead he asked them to look at how Kelly Gregan was full of life for 20 years and to remember her amazing smile.

Kelly's younger sister, Lorna, bravely read out a prayer.

The girls' heartbroken mother was poised and comforted her daughters until her late husband Richard's name was mentioned. Richard died from cancer in 2008. At that moment, tears started to flow from Pauline's eyes.

A poem was read out to reflect on Kelly's life at the request of her many great friends who were at the Mass, but who could not bring themselves to speak. The touching verse described how they would "miss Kelly and think about her everyday. You will always be my best friend and that's all I have to say".

An ambulance arrived as paramedics had to assist one close friend who collapsed.

hnews@herald.ie

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