Young Derry woman Rebecca Browne has been remembered as a shining star who radiated life and love.
The funeral mass for the 21-year-old took place in her home parish in Galliagh this morning, where the love, happy memories and talents of ‘Becca’ were celebrated by grieving family and friends.
“All was to change in the early hours of Sunday morning,” her funeral mass heard.
Rebecca was enjoying a night out in Buncrana and walking back to where she was staying in Ludden when she was struck by a garda patrol car.
Amidst the shock, pain and heartbreak in the aftermath of the tragedy, Fr Michael McCaughey said that Rebecca’s family experienced an outpouring of care and love.
“Becca was a girl who loved photographs and creating memories. The memories of the last few days for her family will be so important in time to come. They experienced remarkable kindness of people in the midst of overwhelming pain and sadness.”
Rebecca was a people person, Fr McCaughey said.
“She brought out all that was good in people.”
“She was so much loved and respected in life, in family and friends and work colleagues,” he said.
She was a loving sister, a caring daughter and enjoyed having fun with friends and family. She is survived by her parents Jeremiah and Lynn, brother Ethan, grandfather Michael Browne, grandfather Ray Smith and a wide circle of family and friends.
Photos of Rebecca in happy times were displayed on t-shirts worn by some mourners this morning, with ‘Forever 21’ printed on the back.
Fr McCaughey urged her loved ones not to think of what Rebecca has lost, but what she created in her life.
“We trust that she is at peace, she loved being pampered and radiated confidence, like a porcelain doll, as someone described her.”
Educated at St Therese’s Primary School, St Brigid’s College and then North West Regional College, Rebecca developed a true talent for hairdressing and had an impressive rapport with friends and clients at Sage Hair and Beauty based on the Spencer Road in Derry.
“Her work was important, from an early age she made of herself a great reputation in hairdressing,” Fr McCaughey said.
Outside of work, she loved listening to music “full blast”.
“In that, she found fun, sitting and learning various songs,” Fr McCaughey said.
“Travelling Soldier was the first song she was to learn, and the last she was to sing late on Saturday night.”
A poem written by Rebecca’s aunt honoured her as a beacon of light who was loved by everyone she met. The verses call on Rebecca, a shining star of beauty, to keep shining down on her loved ones.
“A smile forever on her face, she will be missed in every way,” the poem said.