There were heartbreaking scenes at the funeral of the “fun-loving” young mother killed in last weekend’s horrific road crash in Co. Donegal.
Siobhan Hutcheon (38) died instantly when the Volkswagen car she was driving was in collision with a bus in the townland of Ardee near Newtowncunningham on the main Derry to Letterkenny road on Saturday afternoon last.
Her three children, who were in the car, were injured.
They were all taken to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry from where one of them, Jake, was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where he remains in a serious but stable condition after undergoing emergency surgery for internal injuries.
The two other children, Callum and Ben, were comforted by their father, Warren, Siobhan’s (nee Coyle) parents Paddy and Barbara and her brother Kevin and sisters Claire and Fiona at her funeral which was attended by almost 2,000 mourners.
Speaking during Requiem Mass, Fr John Farren, Muff parish priest, told the packed Sacred Heart Church and the hundreds outside, Siobhan was a “committed” and “fun loving” wife and mother whose life had ended “too soon.”
Fr Farren said the loss of Siobhan at such a young age was a devastating, heartbreaking and shattering blow for her husband, children, parents, siblings and extended family.
He added: “Death is so unfair, so uncaring, so cruel. It is blind to the energetic, lively, fun-loving Siobhan that they knew and loved.”
Fr Farren told how Siobhan, who attended Greenhaw Primary School and St Mary’s Secondary School in Derry, at the age of 15, met and “fell in love” with Warren who she eventually married.
Recalling her 20 years working in O’Donnell’s Chemist, now Lloyds, on Derry’s Strand Road, Fr Farren said: “She was a valued member of staff with a great work ethic, always helpful, always cheerful, always compassionate.
“She had the gift of making people feel special.”
Fr Farren added: “She had a warm and fun loving nature. She was loved by all her family and friends.
“Siobhan was a great person to be around, particularly if you were down or in trouble.”
Fr Farren concluded: “If Siobhan were here today, she would say to Warren, the boys, Barbara and Paddy, Claire, Fiona and Kevin: ‘Remember, when you are walking down the street and you have got me on your mind, I am walking in your footsteps just half a step behind. And when it comes for you to go from your body, remember, you are not going, you are just coming home.”
Earlier, around 500 mourners, many carrying yellow roses, accompanied Siobhan’s remains from the family home in nearby Ardmore Manor, where she and Warren had lived for the past 12 years, having moved from Glenowen Park in Derry.
Among the concelebrants of the Requiem Mass was Fr Frank McLaughlin, her grand-uncle.
Siobhan was laid to rest immediately afterwards in Derry City Cemetery.