The funeral of a young man who was among three people killed in a car crash on New Year’s Eve has been told that grandparents and parents should not have to experience the death of a child.
Shane Gilchrist (23), from Castlepollard, Co Westmeath, and his girlfriend Saoirse Corrigan (21) died following a two vehicle collision on the N52 outside Kells, Co Meath last week.
Julie Kehoe (27), who was driving the other vehicle and had her three children as passengers, also died in the crash. Her funeral took place at St Patrick’s Church in Craanford, Co Wexford on Thursday.
At his funeral Mass in St Michael’s Church, Mr Gilchrist was remembered as a friendly and warm person. A photograph of him and Ms Corrigan, who was also from Castlepollard, was placed on the altar along with a hurley and a sliotar to mark his involvement with the Castlepollard and Ringtown hurling clubs.
Airpods earphones marking his love of music and a hammer, pencil, measuring tape and nail gun, representing his work as a carpenter, were also placed on the altar.
Parish priest Fr Patrick Moore said that the nail gun was the last item Mr Gilchrist had bought for himself, but he never got to use it.
Fr Moore said he had baptised Shane in the same church in 1999 and grown to be a well-respected member of the community. Locals came out in force to pay tribute to Mr Gilchrist, with many mourners standing outside the church in line with Covid-19 guidelines.
Fr Moore said the deceased was a reliable and earnest worker, who never missed a day, and was very close to his family.
“They will love him forever,” he said. “For a young person to die is a tragedy, unnatural, and out of kilter.
“Grandparents and parents should not have to experience the death of a child… it tears into a community deeply… it rips the heart of out families and parishes as it has done here over these days of sadness.”
Fr Moore also offered prayers for Ms Corrigan, whose funeral took place on Wednesday, and Ms Kehoe.
Mr Gilchrist is survived by his parents Trisha and David, siblings Luke, Bryan, Peter and Emma, grandparents Johnny, Maureen, George and Imelda, and extended family and friends. He was predeceased by his brother, Joey.