The deaths of three young friends in Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland has left a dark cloud hanging over the shocked and saddened local community.
Peter Finnegan, 21, from Clogher, Peter McNamee, 20, from Garvaghey, and Nathan Corrigan, 20, from Sixmilecross, all in their 20s, died in a horrific crash near the town of Ballygawley in the early hours of Monday morning.
Their shocking deaths have left all three local communities stunned at the senseless loss of life, and left a dark cloud over them during the festive period.
Mr Finnegan’s funeral took place on New Year’s Day in his home town, and funerals for Mr McNamee and Mr Corrigan will take place this weekend.
The young men died when their car collided with a lorry.
Parish priest Noel McGahan said that the sudden death of their son had left parents Peter and Catherine Finnegan with a “deep void” in their lives.
He added: “The experience of death is always disturbing. But the death of a young person, in the prime of life, is overwhelming in its effects.
“It raises unanswerable questions and challenges the very meaning of the purpose of life and above all, it tests all our faith.
“The death of Peter with two of his friends, Nathan Corrigan and Peter McNamee, shocked and stunned the whole country.
“The communities of Garvaghey, Beragh and Clogher have had a dark cloud over all of these communities in the past week. But the greatest shock is for their families, friends and colleagues.
“The sudden departure of Peter has created a deep void in the lives of his parents. The greatest nightmare for any parent – to bury a child.
“It is very heartbreaking too for his sisters and brothers.
“To bury a child is to bury the future.”
Mr Finnegan was said to have had a great work ethic and been a key part of his team, where he worked at O’Hanlon engineering.
At the service he was said to have had a very bright future.
The priest added: “His honest, never-give-up attitude was a very positive influence on his peers.
“He had this natural ability to form friendships and he will be greatly missed in his place of work where he was respected.
“He will always be remembered as the young man full of life and fun, and an enthusiastic young person.”
During the service, objects symbolising Mr Finnegan’s life were brought to the altar.
This included rugby and Gaelic football jersey, tools he used while working as a welder and pictures from family holidays.
Peter McNamee also worked at the same firm, and a fourth person who was in the car at the time of the crash remained in hospital on Friday.
Requiem Mass was held for Mr McNamee today at 2:30pm and he was described as a “beloved son of Anthony and Sylvia and loving brother of Lee (Sarah) and Aimee, cherished grandson of Edie Hunter.”
Mr Corrigan’s funeral is due to be held tomorrow at 1pm in his home town.
He was described in a family notice as “beloved son of Damian and Kate and loving brother of Callum. Cherished grandson of Charlie and Nell (RIP) Roberts and Seamus and Bernie Corrigan.”