Laois crash: Parents bid farewell to their only child Orla Curry (20)
The devastated parents of a road crash victim clung to one another for support at the funeral of their only child today.
Orla Curry (20) from Clough, Co Laois was amongst three friends killed in the accident which happened in the early hours of Sunday morning on the outskirts of Rathdowney, Co Laois.
Also killed outright were Martin Brophy (20) and mother-of-one Angela Kelly (35) - whose funeral took place yesterday.
The group had been on their way to an all-night service station to pick up cigarettes following a 21st birthday party when their car ploughed into a road sign.
Angela Kelly's nephew, Jamie (16) was a backseat passenger and was also injured in the collision but managed to send a text message for help.
Chief mourners at Orla's funeral at St Canice's church in Clough were her parents, Peter and Ann as well as her grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins.
A poignant guard-of-honour was formed by female members of St Brigid's GAA club, of which Orla had been a member.
The 20-year-old had worked in a local museum.
Parish priest Fr Jim Murphy told mourners that the entire country would like to be able to take away the trauma and the tragedy and return life to the way it was.
But he said this is beyond us and all we can do is support the family in their pain.
He described Orla as a "wonderful unique girl" who was "the most precious gift" her parents could have had and said they were the best parents she could have had.
He said he was sure they had many memories of her first day at school, her communion and confirmation and games played. Those memories may be somewhat painful today and they may be conscious of the fact they did not get to say goodbye, he said.
Orla, also, did not get a chance to say what was in her heart - but Fr Murphy said if she had, she would have said thank you to them for the gift of life and for loving her and for the home they gave her.
She would also have thanked her grandmother and extended family, he said, because they had allowed her to "blossom like a flower" through their love.
The day of her death came tragically much earlier than anyone would have wanted, he said.
But he said love was more powerful than anything else in the universe - even death.