‘You will get through this dark hour’: Funeral takes place for Co Wexford couple killed in Rome crash

Priest says community in Kilmore stands ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with Paul and Mary O’Reilly’s sons

A family has been shattered and Co Wexford community left numb by the deaths of a couple in a road traffic collison in Italy, their funeral Mass has heard.

Paul (60) and Mary (59) O’Reilly, from Kilmore, were fatally injured when they were struck by a car on September 7th on the outskirts of Rome while crossing a road during a holiday.

Fr James Cogley told mourners who gathered at St Mary’s Church in Kilmore that “the big question now” is how people come to terms with “a loss that has shook the whole community to its foundation”.

“It’s my difficult task to welcome you this morning to this place, where no one wants to be or in our wildest dreams ever thought we would be,” he said.


“I want to say you will get through this dark hour. The dawn will break, the birds will sing again. Today at the graveside you will feel you are being buried. Then you will also discover the ones loved and lost, were the one layer with you, they are still with you wherever you go and are.”

‘Truly good people’

Fr Cogley said the community stands “shoulder to shoulder” with the couple’s children Darren and Andrew, their grandchildren, their siblings, extended family, friends and colleagues. He said Darren and Andrew would have been looking forward to having their parents around for decades to come.

“We all feel something of the shock and horror of what has happened. Paul and Mary were really and truly good people. They were loving and kind, faithful and genuine, salt of the earth, struck down while in the prime of their lives,” he said.

“Their deaths leave many unanswered questions, some of which are the oldest in the world, of which there is no answer. Why do bad things happen to such good people? Such is the mystery of evil in the world. It’s not until it visits our own doorstep, that it only leaves these unanswered questions.”

The preist recalled Mr O’Reilly first coming to Kilmore Quay from Dublin aged just 17, a young man “bursting with enthusiasm to create a life on the ocean waves”.

“He was just not successful, for, in a short time, he became one of the best, resuming his studies and going on to become a master mariner,” he said.

“Mary started her career in Wallace Tailors going on to become a seamstress. I remember Mary with her long hair, big smile and being full of fun. Her craft as a seamstress continued to the very end . . .”