Community mourns its lost angelsOctober 25, 2012 - 7:00am
How fitting that five white swans – symbols of purity, beauty and grace – flew over the Church of the Sacred Heart in Belclare moments before the coffins of little Kate and Grace Gilmore began their relatively short journey to their final resting place.
The funerals of the sisters, who lost their lives so tragically when they were struck by a car while they were out for a Sunday afternoon walk with their father John, united the county and the country in grief at their shocking deaths.
Around 1,500 mourners packed into the church and the grounds outside, as it took more than an hour and a half for the huge congregation to offer their sympathies to the grieving parents John and Michelle Gilmore and their extended families.
As the tiny coffins were brought from the church, many outside could not contain their grief at the thought of a two year old girl and her twelve week old sister’s lives coming to such a tragic end in such horrific circumstances.
The deaths of Kate and Grace have numbed the whole of North Galway and beyond and yesterday afternoon several communities came together in grief as mourners were stunned into silence as the coffins were brought from the church to nearby Killower Cemetery for a private family ceremony.
Pink ribbons were tied outside many business premises in Tuam while neighbours of the couple in Tuam did likewise over the past few days; hundreds of passers-by have stopped and visited the location on the N17 where the children tragically lost their lives.
More than 100 bouquets of flowers have been placed close to the scene of the accident along with lighted candles and several soft toys with some heart-rending messages for the two toddlers attached.
See full story in this week's Connacht Tribune.