Families, community devastated and numbed

Mother of three laid to rest

Families, community devastated and numbed
By Declan Mageenews@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

Mourners at the funeral of the 38-year-old mother of three who died in Wednesday’s double-fatal road crash have been told that the deaths have had a devastating effect on their families and the wider community.

Maria Wallis died when the car she was travelling in left the R252 on the outskirts of Ballybofey.

Nineteen-year-old Kiara Baird, who was from Ballybofey, also died in the crash.

A man in his forties who was also in the blue Citroen C3 survived with non-life-threatening injuries.

Both women were buried after separate funeral services in the Church of Mary Immaculate in Stranorlar.

Stranorlar priest Fr John Joe Duffy offered prayers for Kiara and her family and friends at the funeral of Maria Wallis on Saturday.

Kiara's funeral took place on Sunday.

Ms Wallis's coffin was helped into the church by her three teenage sons, David, Darren and Andrew. Prayers were offered for her sons, her husband David and parents Mary and David.

Staff and teachers from the boy's school, St Columba's College, were among the mourners.

Maria had returned to education recently and had been attending a course at the Donegal Education and Training Board (ETB) in Stranorlar.

Addressing the three boys, Fr Duffy said that Maria’s world revolved around them. “Your mum always wanted what was best for you and loved you very much as you loved her very much,” he said.

“You were very proud of your Mum going back to college at the ETB and she was equally proud of you,” he said.

“Continue to make her proud by doing well in life and looking after yourselves, caring for yourselves. Remember also how your grandmother said that your Mum will now be with you everywhere and know that is true. She will be praying for everything that is good and helpful for you, wanting to succeed and be content and happy in life. God is now caring for your Mum who is with her little sister and all her family who have gone before her to God.”

Fr Duffy said he knew Maria for four years, as long as he had been in the parish. She was a regular attender at Mass in the church and she had contacted him frequently asking him to pray for her mother when she was ill.

“She was a person with a good and kind heart. She was someone who had many friends. She was always a friendly and welcoming person.”

He said the crash on Wednesday afternoon has had “a devastating and numbing affect on the lives of two immediate families, loved ones, friends, the community and beyond”.

“Shock, sadness, loss, pain are just some of the feelings, bewilderment and anger are more of the feelings. All these feelings are part of natural human reactions. These feelings are something those bereaved have to go through. The great burden of loss is something that has to be worked through, it is not easy but with faith and each others support you will get there.”

He said the family were experiencing the most trying of circumstances.

“You will manage and learn to cope from your faith, your own inner strength, with care and love to get through these emotions that can be raw.”