Last respects paid to 5 who died over Christmas


There were poignant scenes at churches in Cork city and county yesterday as five families mourned tragic losses over the festive season.

Aoife Bell (20), from Kerry Pike, who was fatally injured when a building parapet collapsed in Washington Street in Cork city last Thursday afternoon, was buried yesterday in Clogheen, Co Cork.

Ms Bell had returned from Australia to spend Christmas with her family when she was killed. "Aoife's life was all too short - from home to school in Kerry Pike and then to St Al's and then to graduate so recently from the College of Commerce," Canon Diarmuid Linehan told mourners at the Church of the Most Precious Blood in Clogheen. Hundreds packed the tiny church and hundreds more stood outside.

Among the mourners were Aoife Bell's parents, Billy and Mary; her sisters, Marie, Mairead, Cecilia, Eilish and Kathy; her brother, William; and her boyfriend, John Daly from Ballincollig, who travelled back from Australia for the funeral.

Among those to sympathise with the Bells on their tragic loss was the Bishop of Cork and Ross, Dr John Buckley.

The funeral cortege was given a Garda motorcycle escort, led by the officer first on the scene, Garda Gary Kingston, who tried to revive Ms Bell with cardiac pulmonary resuscitation before she was taken to the Mercy Hospital, where she died.

Elsewhere in Co Cork, the funerals of Mary Kelleher from Dunmanway and Mary O'Leary from Kilmichael took place. The women were killed in a two-car collision on their way to a card game in Coachford on New Year's Eve.

Ms Kelleher, a mother of three, was buried at Terelton Cemetery while Ms O'Leary, a widow, was buried at Inchigeela Cemetery, following separate requiem Masses at Johnstown Church near Kilmichael yesterday.

The removal took place last night of Darnell Lordan (21), from Ballineen, who died in a building accident when a concrete slab collapsed at a factory site near Bandon on New Year's Eve.

The removal of Derek Bruton (30), from Old Youghal Road in Cork city, also took place yesterday. Mr Bruton died when the car in which he was a passenger collided with a post on the outskirts of Galway city at 3 a.m. on New Year's Day.