Mayo par­ish stands with be­reaved fam­ily on ‘dark jour­ney’

The Irish Times - - Home News - TOM SHIEL

“Since last Mon­day, Cal­vary has pitched its tent in our com­mu­nity”, a priest told mourn­ers at the fu­neral of the mother, son and grand­mother who died in the same road crash in Co Mayo this week.

Fr Kevin He­garty said no words, not even a multi vol­umed Ox­ford Dic­tionary, could de­scribe the an­guish of the fam­i­lies of Mary Ann Wil­son, her daugh­ter, Mar­cella Wil­son, and grand­son Seán Wil­son McG­lynn.

“The way of the Cross has made its way to the vil­lage of Cross where the Wil­son fam­ily lived,” he said.

Par­al­lel to the tiny al­tar where Fr He­garty spoke rested two brown coffins, each car­ry­ing a photo taken in hap­pier times. Along­side them stood seven-year-old Seán’s while cas­ket, which was adorned by his pho­to­graph and his beloved Paw Pa­trol teddy bear.

Six co-cel­e­brants

Be­fore Mass be­gan, Mary Ann’s hus­band Joe (Josie) ap­proached the coffins and kissed each pho­to­graph in turn.

Fr He­garty was as­sisted at a thronged St Joseph’s Church in Er­ris by six co-cel­e­brants for the fu­neral Mass. The three fam­ily mem­bers died to­gether in a road traf­fic in­ci­dent near Clare­mor­ris last Mon­day.

Pledg­ing be­reaved fam­ily mem­bers sup­port on their “dark jour­ney”, Fr He­garty said the Wil­sons had en­riched the lives of those who knew them and loved them.

Mary Ann, he said, was a wife, mother, grand­mother and great grand­mother. “Moth­er­hood was at the core of her be­ing. She knew the lan­guage of love and she ex­pressed it elo­quently in the way she lived.”

‘Grace and dig­nity’

Of Mar­cella Wil­son, the priest said she had been full of life and laugh­ter when he knew her as a stu­dent. “She had her per­sonal dif­fi­cul­ties but she con­fronted them with courage, grace and dig­nity.”

De­scrib­ing Seán, Fr He­garty said he had been full of life, en­ergy and “divil­ment”.

The priest called on the com­mu­nity to sup­port Mar­cella’s other chil­dren – Amy, Kelly and An­thony – to give them the kind of life their mother pas­sion­ately wanted for them.

Tear­fully, Amy, who re­ceived her Ju­nior Cert re­sults this week, ad­dressd the large con­gre­ga­tion. “As you know,” she said, “I lost my granny, my lit­tle brother and my mum.

“I just want Seán, the baby of the house, to know we will al­ways love him and he will be in our hearts and minds for­ever.”

Deep sor­row

Michael Gal­lagher, speak­ing on be­half of Seán’s fa­ther, An­thony McG­lynn, said An­thony wanted to ex­press his deep and en­dur­ing sor­row for the loss of three peo­ple very dear to him.

He also, Mr Gal­lagher ex­plained, wanted to ex­press his

‘‘ Along­side them stood seven-year-old Seán’s while cas­ket, which was adorned by his pho­to­graph

grat­i­tude for the thou­sands who had at­tended the re­moval and fu­ner­als as well as those who as­sisted at the scene of the tragic ac­ci­dent.

Af­ter the Mass, the three fu­neral hearses stopped briefly at the Wil­son fam­ily home for a poignant, fi­nal “farewell” be­fore pro­ceed­ing to Cross Ceme­tery for the buri­als.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: CONOR MCKE­OWN

Hearses car­ry­ing the coffins of Mary Ann Wil­son, her daugh­ter Mar­cella Wil­son and her grand­son Seán Martin Wil­son McG­lynn make their way to Cross Ceme­tery in Bing­ham­stown, Co Mayo.

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