The funeral cortege of John, Tómas and Amelia Mullan in Moville
The emotional Requiem Mass for John Mullan (49), his daughter Amelia (6) and her brother Tomás (14) has taken place in St Pius X Church, Moville, Inishowen.
The Funeral Mass was concelebrated by Fr Pat O'Hagan PP, Moville and six “brother priests.”
John, a well-known local businessman, the owner Moville Garden Centre, Tómas and Amelia, died on Thursday night past, when the car in which they were travelling, skidded of the road and plunged into Lough Foyle.
John's wife, Geraldine, the mother of the Tomás and Amelia, was the sole survivor of the accident. Ms Mullan is a highly regarded Nurse in the Oncology team at Letterkenny University Hospital.
Delivering a heart-rending Eulogy at the end of Mass, Geraldine Mullan, her voice hoarse and occasionally breaking, said what started off as a "lovely family day out, on Thursday ended in tragedy."
She continued: "Many of you know, John was a hard worker and due to the kind help of neighbours and friends, he was able to do the home delivery service while everything was closed. So, he had taken the rare occasion of a day off, with the kind help of his dear friend, Joe, and our dear friend, Anna, and they kindly offered to cover the garden centre so he could spend a day with us.
"Any of you who knew John, knew that he was a family man first and foremost. As Denise mentioned, he was the love of my life. He came into my life for a special reason, because of his dear mother, and for that, Philomena, I am eternally grateful. I know you have your arms around your beloved son up in Heaven today, so give him an extra hug from me please.
"Any of you who knew John, know that he loves giving hugs and I know Paddy Gillespie, you are standing outside and he owes you a hug. So, I'm sorry, I'll be the poor substitute but you'll get that hug from me.
"As I said, we had a lovely, family day out because anything John did, he did to perfection. Because of the bad weather, our initial plan to do the 'Stairway to Heaven' down in Fermanagh was cancelled because of Storm Ellen and we decided instead to do the bowling, cinema and dinner with the kids. Of course, our little rascal, as Fr Pat mentioned her, got to chose the movie, so, I'm sure, Tómas and John would much rather have watched something other than ' Snow Queen' but, as usual, our little rascal got her way.
"As many of you are aware, two weeks today, my beloved John would have been 50. His life-long dream was to get to Cape Canaveral because he is obsessed with space travel. Unfortunately, due to the Covid, that wasn't going to happen. So, myself and the kids, had decided that we would do 50 presents for the 'super bestest daddy in the whole world.' So, at home, there are 50 presents all over the house because for the past number of weeks and months, I have been ordering stuff online and John would say, 'What came today?' and I would say, 'Don't worry about it pet. I haven't a clue. Just leave it there and I'll open it later.'
"Unfortunately, I have nobody to give those presents to now. And I know Seamus, promise you will have the cake for me, as we did for every single Birthday and I will sing Happy Birthday to John and he will have the 50 presents always from me.
"So, we did the bowling and we did the dinner and it was lovely. As I said, all John was about was his family. He loved each one of us unconditionally.
"On the way home in the car, we laughed and we joked and we spoke to Tómas and Amelia who were so looking forward to going back to school. And Tómas was telling us about his plans and he was thinking perhaps that it was going to be medicine or pharmacy like he would like to do when he finished school. And, as usual, his little sister piped up and said, 'TT perhaps you could make some medicine for children who are sick that doesn't taste yucky, because medicine is always yucky.
"So, TT, I hope you are up in Heaven, coming up with some concoction along with Amelia, because I know, if you and Amelia had been able to fulfil your dreams, you would definitely have made that medicine for your little sister.
"On the journey home, unfortunately, everything was against us that night. The high tide, the inclement weather from Storm Ellen the night before, the road works and the slippery road conditions. Anyone that knows John in Moville, knows you could not get a safer driver, so it wasn't from speed or reckless driving.
"As Fr Pat said, there are no words and there are no answers. But I can picture it second by second but I am not going to recall the events because it is not going to do anybody any good.
"But it is true what they say, in a second your life changes completely and on the 21st of August, 2020, at half nine, when we were supposed to be coming home and planning our next few days together, my life was irrevocably changed for the worst.
"We landed in the water, upside down, with about 12 feet of water above us and the waves crashing.
"I know my dear husband tried everything he could to get out but the injuries he sustained, unfortunately, pinned him in and he couldn't. And everybody who knows my dearest son, Tómas, knows what a good brother he was to his sister. The stories I've heard from his dear friends and neighbours who would see the two of them hand in hand, all through lockdown, when he was our babysitter because both John and I were working. He was the best big brother to the end because, when they found them, Amelia was in Tómas' arms, just as you can see in the family photograph down there, that's where she loved to be.
"So, for that Tómas, I thank you for minding my dearest Amelia up to the end. And my dearest John, I thank you for being with them, because I know that's were you want to be, is looking after our two rascals but, unfortunately, I was left behind. In my sorrow and in my suffering, I will be held together by your love and your strength and your guidance.
"I know the dark days and weeks and months ahead that I have to endure. I know that I will get a sign or I'll get a gentle nudge and I know that all three of you will be looking after me.
"I know my dad made a special mention already of Conor McDaid. Conor, I thank you irrevocably, form the bottom of my heart and from the hearts of John, Tómas and Amelia. I know people have heard the story and I honestly don't know how long I was in the water. I think it was probably the best part of an hour but I had probably given up hope at that stage because I had screamed and roared and I had called out the names of my three kids until I knew you all three had already gone.
"And the waves were hitting me and, all of a sudden, I saw a light and it was Conor.
"And Conor and his mother were so good, they came up to me yesterday and, as my dad said, Conor was my Guardian Angel that night because I know what ensued after that was a tremendous help and work from the Fire Service, the Garda Síochána, the Coast Guard, the paramedics, and of the wider community that did their best to get us out of the water that night.
"A special mention has to go to Kevin Barr from the Coast Guard. Kevin, I am sorry, I know you had a hard job getting down to me in the water and I know on a couple of occasions, I asked you to let me go, because I knew I had lost the three most important people in my life and I just wanted to be with them.
"But as many people have told me since then, I obviously was left behind for a reason. And I am sorry, I know I have lots of people telling me but at the moment I don't know what that reason is for because every second, every minute, every hour and every day that I am without John, Tómas and Amelia, is a second too long.
"But I promise them, I will always love them and cherish them, until we meet again.
"To Fr Farren, thank you for giving the Last Rites to my three best friends. When Kevin told me the news that they had recovered all three bodies, I got my wish that I was bringing my three people, my homebird, home.
"The journey home on Saturday was difficult, to say the least but I would like to thank each and every single person who stood along the way. It was very comforting to see the support and I know my Mam and Dad are worried because I am all alone now but I think they have solace and support to see the support and the love of the Moville community. I know I might be a blow in but you have definitely welcomed me into your hearts this weekend.
"And, I promise, I will take up your offer of comfort and love because I know there is going to be days and weeks and months ahead when I will need that, so, I will turn up for U8s football training , where Amelia used to go. I know I've no kids now to go but I will still go and watch. To the Sea Scouts, I will turn up for the Investiture and the collection of badges. To the Karate, I will go and see the boys getting their belts. Tomas had got to a blue belt and I know before very long he would have got to the black belt.
"I could go on and on and on and tell each and everyone of you what a fabulous husband and what an amazing son and daughter I have.
"I was privileged and honoured to be Tómas and Amelia's Mum. I'm just sorry that I didn't get to be their Mum for longer. They will be forever my darling babies in my heart and I will always picture different events that they should be doing but unfortunately won't get to do.
"Thank you Tómas and Amelia for allowing me to be your Mammy. Thank you for the love and support you always gave me.
"Thank you Amelia you will be forever Mammy's girl and I will treasure our Mammy / Daughter time that we did every Sunday morning, when we had an hour and it was just the two of us and you were the boss and you got to choose what we had to do.
"TT, there are no words. You were Mammy's best boy from day one. We didn't have the best start but you got me through my dark days at the beginning. And then, when Daddy came into our lives, you were the apple of Daddy's eye. You were like two peas in a pod. He went from being Daddy John, to Daddy, the Super Best Daddy. And you are dead right, he was the Super Best Daddy.
"Thank you for being the best son. You never gave me a minute's worry or sorrow. All you did was fill my heart with pride and joy. In those 14 years, you grew into such a handsome, strong young man, one I am eternally proud of. And you were the best big brother to Amelia. And, as I said already, you looked after her right to the end, so thank you TT.
"My last few words are for you, John. You are my rock, my soulmate, my best friend. You showed me what true love was all about. You got my heart healed and you showed me what it was like to fall in love and be loved.
"And, I had 10 precious years with you. I thought I was going to grow old with you, darling. You used to say, 'The best is yet to come!' But, unfortunately, Thursday night cut that time short.
"I am eternally grateful, sweetheart, for everything you did for me. For our family, for Tómas and Amelia. As I said, You always put everybody first and yourself last. Well today, sweetheart, I'm putting you first.
"You were the love of my life. You always will be. My heart is broken It is never going to heal but that is ok because I have you, Tómas and Amelia in my heart and you will always stay there. And I look forward to the day when I get you to put your arms around me once more because that's when I feel safest, most loved when I was in your arms, darling.
"So for now, it's just goodbye. Look after our two darlings. Heaven has definitely gained three angels today. Enjoy your time up above with all of our family and friends and please look after me down here.
"I have one last request for everyone. Please go home and hug your kids and loved ones. Give them the tightest hug and the sweetest kiss. Tell your loved ones, you love them. Don't be afraid to tell them because my darling husband told me time and time again. It was the first thing I heard in the morning and the last thing I heard at night.
"So, I ask each and every one of you to kiss and hug your loved ones dearly and tell your loved ones you love them.
"I have no-one to kiss and hug. An I have no-one to tell 'I love you' to any more because the three most important people in my life are gone. So cherish each day as if it were your last. Because last Thursday was the last day I got to spend with my beloved family. So that's what I ask.
"John, Tómas and Amelia, I love each and everyone of you, to the moon and stars and back again. To infinity and beyond plus 100. That love will never end. And I will see you soon. Thank you very much."
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