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Friday, September 22, 2023

Young woman killed after being hit by garda patrol car ‘radiated life’, funeral told

A 21-year-old woman who died after being hit by a garda patrol car in Co Donegal “radiated life and love”, her funeral service has heard.

Rebecca Browne, from Galliagh in Derry city, was on a night-out in Buncrana when the collision occurred early on Sunday morning.

The funeral service took place at St Joseph’s Church Galliagh on Friday and was held by Father Michael McCaughey.

Mourners at the funeral wore t-shirts with Ms Browne’s picture on the front and “forever 21” emblazoned on the back.

Ms Browne was a hairdresser and Fr McCaughey opened her funeral service by saying she “loved taking photographs and making memories”.

Fr McCaughey said Ms Browne “radiated life”.

He said: “What has been remarkable is the care and the love and the sense of neighbour and friends since then.

“People together in grief, sharing stories, creating memories, a laugh to help each other.

“This is all carried out in the spirit of love, as Becca Browne was someone who radiated life and love in her own way.”

A GoFundMe page that was set up to cover funeral costs raised more than £5,000 (€5,750) as the communities of Galliagh and Buncrana showed their support for the mourning family.

Fr McCaughey also spoke of Ms Browne’s love of music, saying she listened to one of her favourite songs – Travelin Soldier by The Chicks – not long before the incident that led to her death on Sunday at about 3am.

“She valued time, she valued people, she enjoyed fun, and we can see that in many ways, in the life and the love of the last few days,” he said.

“It’s worth noting that Travelin’ Soldier was the first song that she was to learn and the last song which she was to sing late on Saturday night.”

Fr McCaughey finished the homily by reading a poem written by Ms Browne’s aunt.

“In life she was a beacon of light, the happiest and kindest soul, helping everyone she met, to sing and to laugh her only goal, and the life and soul of a party, so happy every day, a smile forever on her face, she’ll be missed in every way.”

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission is investigating the collision.

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