Hundreds of mourners gathered for the funeral of a father and daughter who died within hours of each other.
A joint funeral for Patrick Deveney and Margaret Sullivan was held inside and outside All Saints Church in Newtown Cunningham, Donegal.
A beloved father and daughter passed away in just hours earlier this week, sending the entire community into grief.
Patrick, a prominent sportsman, died Wednesday at Donegal Hospice after a long battle with cancer.
Hours later, however, her daughter Margaret died suddenly of complications.
Today, two coffins are placed on the altar, each with a picture above it.
Addressing hundreds of mourners, including both the Deveny and Sullivan families, Father Philip Chemie said he was unable to answer those who asked why Margaret was allowed to live with her beloved father. I admit it.
He said, “Patrick’s death leaves you with great grief. Margaret’s death leaves you with shock and disbelief.
“The rest of the community shares those feelings, although the only one who can feel the full pain of their death most deeply is you, their closest and dearest.
“Patrick’s death was compounded by Margaret’s unexpected death, leaving the mourners here today with a numbing sense of grief for a loyal friend of Jesus.
“Sorrow comes to everyone at some point, but today it is especially hard. It is a double blow, a double burden of grief, a double tear. Then comes another wave of tears.
“I have no magic formula to take away the pain families and communities feel when a person dies. Where is God in all this? What are His grand plans? What happened to this family during the day?
“I don’t have a neat and simple answer to that. It’s clear that God allowed it to happen here, but why did God allow it and how did it happen?” It is not clear whether
“I don’t have a ready-made answer, but I believe that Jesus is with us even when you want to think otherwise. He does so in many ways.”
Patrick’s grandchildren brought gifts to the altar to reflect the father-daughter life.
Patrick was provided with both his football boots and two flags.
Father Chemie said: He graced the playing field for Donegal and beyond with great competitiveness.
“The two teams he followed and loved the most, the two flags of Donegal and Naom Colmsir. Wherever they were, he followed them.”
Both a make-up bag and a welcome sign were brought to the altar to honor and commemorate Margaret.
“First of all, her makeup bag, which epitomizes her love of fashion and her best looks.
“And a welcome sign is put up to show that she was an open, friendly and kind person. We will never know how warm, funny and loving Margaret was.” I will never forget,” said Father Chemie.
A family photo has been sent.
Father Kemmie, assisted by Father Pat McHugh at Mass, added: The pictures are from happier times and as Christians we are holding out hope that we will be reunited again. ”
At the beginning of the mass, Brendan, Patrick’s only son and Margaret’s brother, spoke about Donegal and TV critic former GAA star and his “special sister”.
He asked the congregation to close their eyes and think about the time when Margaret recited a specially written poem entitled “My Beautiful Sister”.
he said: That’s the only way to remember Margaret. “
On a light note, Brendan recalled how Margaret loved the fun they had together and asked him to come with her on her hen night. .
Patrick’s two daughters, Arlene and Maria, held back tears as they said a few words about their beloved father.
“Today I picked up a bit that symbolizes how much my father loved GAA. Naom Kormushir was his life. But the referee said last night he was too scared to send him off.
“He was so positive that we wanted to be with him. He was very social and told us a lot.
“He was very positive. His mental strength surprised both the consultant and the doctor until the end.
“He created the most loving home for us. Family was everything to my father. I am so happy to have created so many memories to help him get through this really tough time.”
“One of the last words he heard was, ‘You’re our hero’s dad.’ I took it.”
Among the mourners were Margaret’s husband Eugene Sullivan and the couple’s two children Ethan and Molly, Patrick’s wife Imelda, daughters Sharon, Maria and Arlene, and son Brendan.
A guard of honor was held by local schoolchildren in the presence of many sports groups including Naomh Colmcille, Lagan Harps, St Eunan’s GAA Club, Letterkenny Athletic Club and Killea FC.
At the end of the funeral mass, both coffins were led by burial to the adjacent cemetery.