Late Balbriggan teacher’s life celebrated at emotional funeral mass

by Sylvia Pownall

A Balbriggan teacher killed in a bus crash abroad left a legacy of love, hope and kindness, her funeral mass heard on Friday.

Fiona Geraghty (28) was one of 17 people who lost their lives on June 6 when a bus travelling from Oman to Dubai crashed into an overhead sign.

Her heartbroken partner, Fiachra, who was injured in the smash, travelled home with her so he could bid her a final farewell.

He told her packed funeral service: “I think everybody knew how beautiful, caring, determined, wholehearted and goodhearted she was.

“What people mightn’t have known is she was very, very deep.

“She took a lot of the anguish of other people on herself.

“She hated to see other people hurting and suffering and took it upon herself to try and offer advice and help.”

Fiona and Fiachra first met at St Patrick’s teacher training college in Drumcondra and had taken a year out to teach in Dubai when the tragedy occurred.

He told how she “longed for the day” she would return home to her pupils in third class at St Mologa’s national school.

He added: “She absolutely adored those children. It was great that she got to experience her own class before she went to Dubai because she had toyed with the idea of going before her Dip.

“She always yearned for the day she would return to Dublin and see her class out.”

Offertory gifts brought to the altar to symbolise aspects of Fiona’s life included her passport to show her deep love of travel, and a leash to represent her love of her dog, Ringo, and all animals.

Friends and family also brought a Friends DVD box set in recognition of the wide circle of friends she had, and the great friend she was, a homework journal, and a floral globe “representing the world that Fiona had at her feet”.

Fiachra said: “Money, travel, home, it means nothing because Fiona isn’t here to share it with us. These are all superficial things that mean nothing.

“I would like that people prioritise what is important, because at the end of the day we would give up everything we have if we could just have Fiona now.

“She was just an amazing person that just got me, got her family. It was the little things, the simple things that she adored.”

Fiachra ended his emotional tribute by reading the memorial poem, Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, by Mary Elizabeth Frye.

Fiona is survived by her parents, Christopher and Mary, and her brothers, David and Robert.

She was buried at Balrothery Cemetery after her funeral mass at SS Peter & Paul’s Church.

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