On Tuesday, tutor Valerie Bryce wrote a tribute to Matthew Crawford, 21, one of the two young men killed in Saturday’s tragic road-traffic accident outside of Rathmullan, on behalf of Matthew’s fellow classmates in the Young, Eager and Willing to Work programme at Swilly Group. Here is the post in its entirety:
I don’t go much for Facebook posts but today’s events warrant it. I’ve just returned from the funeral of one of my students who was killed in the terrible accident near Kinnegar on Saturday morning.
Matthew was quite simply the funniest human being I ever had the pleasure of meeting. He’d sit on his swivel chair in class and spin every now and again when the urge became too much for him! No matter the topic Matthew would come out with a classic one-liner, reducing the class to tears of laughter but also reminding us to remain grounded.
I sat with Matthew on his own on Tuesday and spoke about all the things he had to look forward to in his life. He had a keen interest in gardening and was about to start a work placement in the garden centre in St. Conal’s. Truth be told the reason I wanted him to go there was for him to see firsthand how infectious his humour was and how it lifted people’s spirits. I wanted him to be aware of this gift going through his life.
The vast majority of those attending the funeral were people in their 20s. How sad to have to carry the burden of grief at such a young age. I’m incredibly proud of my students who came to pay their respects when they are hurting so much themselves.
Matthew was the only student I’ve ever had that called me ‘Miss’! I got him to try ‘Valerie’ for the first two days to no avail! The thing is I loved it. It made me smile at the youthful innocence of it. I can’t imagine what its going to be like going back to class tomorrow. Hopefully the sadness can be diluted with our many memories of our student, classmate and friend.
I’m certain that wherever Matthew is there’s a whole lot more laughing going on!
It has been an honour to share a little of your short life, Matthew.
Rest in Peace, beautiful boy.