Shock grips Newcastle and Rathcoole community as children laid to rest

by Padraig Conlon

A shocked, grieving community gathered in the Church of the Holy Family in Rathcoole last Friday for the funerals of the three McGinley children.

Conor (9), Darragh (7) and Carla (3) died in their home in Parsons Court, Newcastle on Friday, January 24.

Members of the Rathcoole boys football club formed a guard of honour at the church entrance as the hearse carrying all three small white coffins arrived.

The children’s father Andrew somehow summoned the strength to deliver a powerful eulogy.

“We often misuse words,” he told the packed congregation.

“When Ireland would lose a match, I used to say I was heartbroken.

“I now know what that really means. We, as a family, are heartbroken.”

Mr McGinley went on to pay tribute to his ‘creative, funny and unique’ children.

“It will only be with your help, support and friendship that we will be able to patch our hearts together in some way but we will still be forever heartbroken,” he said.

“Conor, Darragh and Carla. I love you, I love you, I love you.’

In his homily Fr. Kevin Doherty, Co Parish Priest of Saggart-Newcastle, described the complete desolation felt throughout the local community.

“It is like a pall of darkness, a shroud of darkness, has come down upon us, and no one is left untouched,” he said.

“And so, the absence of these three beautiful children cries out to us.

“It cries out into the sheer darkness of bewilderment and loss that surrounds us.

“And, as it cries out, it brings with it, into our lives, the deepest of pain and heart-wrenching grief.”

Referring to The Gospel – John 1.5 – which he had just read and tells of how “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness could not overpower it,” Fr Doherty said that from the darkness, light can come.

“Life and love are always more than darkness and death,” he said. “In holy words we say the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness could not overpower it.

Is there any way that light could possibly be part of our journey today? Is there any way at all that we can say ‘There is a glimpse of light?’ I think we can dare to say ‘Yes’,” he said.

“This light is surely found in the community of Parsons Court and the community in Newcastle. The outpouring of goodness and kindness and love among us is extraordinary.

“The coming together to cry, to hug, to laugh, to remember, to help is a light in the darkness.”

“Life and love eternal is given to us. The lives of these beautiful children are too precious not to share in this life and this love,” he said.

Teachers from Scoil Chrónáin, the school Conor and Darragh attended, provided music on uilleann pipes, tin whistle, guitar and fiddle, and sang.

The children’s mother, Deirdre Morley, 43, has been charged with their murders.

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