Best friend pays tribute at Amy's funeral Mass

Story by Tom Shiel

Monday, 25th February, 2019 1:59pm

Best friend pays tribute at Amy's funeral Mass

The late Amy Gill.

A YOUNG woman recovering from a car crash in Australia which claimed the life of her best friend sent a message from her hospital bed which was read at her friend’s funeral in Co. Mayo today (Monday).

Catherine Langan, in a heart-rending note which was read to mourners in a crowded St. Colman’s Church, Claremorris, described 23-year-old Amy Gill as 'the most caring, modest, understanding person' she had ever met.

She said her personal loss was ‘devastating', adding: “She was like a part of me.”

Ms. Langan continued: “Her death seems too cruel.”

Amy Gill, a native of Coolaght, Kiltimagh, gave up her retail job in Castlebar before Christmas in preparation for her life-changing trip Down Under.

On February 6 she was killed in a car accident while making her way to work just outside Melbourne.

A repatriation fund set up by Amy’s devastated cousins raised €44,461 in just a few days.

This was more than three times the target set by the organisers of the Bring Amy Home fund.

The excess funds have been diverted to the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, who facilitated the transfer home of the remains.

Leading mourners were Amy’s grief-stricken parents, John and Ann, sisters Emma and Megan, and half-brother Jonathan and her grandmother, Mary Gill.

Recalling memories of Amy in her message to funeral mourners, Catherine Langan explained she had been her best friend for 10 or 11 years and was 'like a part of me'.

Fr. Peter Gannon, the main celebrant of the funeral Mass, described Amy as 'a beautiful girl in every respect'.

He added: “Her far too short life brought pleasure and blessings to so many people.

Her tragic death has been like a blackout in her community. One moment the sun was shining, the next we were plunged into darkness.”

Gifts brought to the altar included a concert ticket, symbolising Amy’s love of music, a photo of her beloved dog, ‘Poppy’, and her passport, symbolising her love of travel and her desire to see and experience the wider world.

Following midday Mass, the lengthy cortege moved to Barnacarroll Cemetery for the burial ceremony.

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