Shaun Graham, one of two young men killed in Saturday morning’s road traffic accident, was remembered on Monday “with broken hearts and tear-filled eyes”.
Shaun, age 19, of Ballymacool, and Matthew Crawford, age 21, of Elmwood Downs, were killed in the road traffic accident that occurred outside of Rathmullan shortly after 3am on Saturday. Two other young men were also seriously injured in the one-vehicle crash.
Shaun’s funeral was held on Monday at St. Eunan’s Cathedral in Letterkenny.
“In life we carry each other. Today’ Shaun’s friends have carried him from his home to the hearse,” said Father Eamonn McLaughlin in his homily. “The Graham family have carried Shaun from the hearse to the altar. The McGlynn family will carry Shaun from the altar to his place of rest.
“There is a time for everything. This is a time of anguish and pain,” Father Eamonn said in his homily. “Today we all gather to carry Shaun’s family and each other at this time.”
Speaking to mourners in the crowded cathedral, Father Eamonn said that when the national Road Safety Authority compiles statistics for 2013, Shaun and Matthew will be among those for fatalities and the two other young men will be included in the statistics for people who were injured. But the four young men are not statistics, he said.
“Shaun is a son, a brother, a grandson, a great grandson, a nephew, a cousin, a neighbour and a friend to so many,” Father Eamonn said.
Shaun is survived by his parents, Katriona and Michael, brothers Mark and Karl, sister, Vicki, grandmother Kay McGlynn of Ballymacool and by extended family and friends. He had worked at The Quiet Moment in Letterkenny, owned by his uncle, Brendan McGlynn.
Father Eamonn said that when he was at Matthew’s wake, Shaun’s friends sat in the room beside him.
“After a while they shared with me that Shaun was a great person, a gem, great craic, always smiling, full of joy and goodness,” Father Eamonn said. “If you wanted to fall out with him, you just couldn’t do it. He was such a good friend, a genuine spirit.”
Shaun’s funeral was concelebrated by Father Eamonn, Father Martin Collum, parish priest of Rathmullan, who was called to the scene of the tragic crash; Father Paddy Dunne, who taught Shaun and Matthew at St. Eunan’s College; Father Willie Peoples; and Father Damien McGroarty and Father Frank McHugh, both from Letterkenny. The Rev. Philip Boyce, Bishop of Raphoe, was also present.
Father Eamonn said that in the faces of parents at the wake, “you could see in the eyes of each of them the thought that such a tragedy could be at their door, too, and maybe has.”
He said that in the days leading up to the funeral, many parents had said to him “that they want the young people to be careful when they are out, to look after one another, do drive carefully and be safe.
“But do they listen? many parents said,” the priest recalled.
“Seeing the faces of so many young people over the last few days, all I could think of was please, please young people, change our world for the better. Please be careful when you are out at night,” he said.
Father Eamonn asked them to “do it for Shaun and Matthew”.
Following the mass, Shaun was laid to rest at Conwal graveyard, where he would be joined by Matthew a few short hours later.