Cookstown tragedy reminds us to ‘cherish every moment’ – Archbishop Eamon

Cookstown tragedy reminds us to ‘cherish every moment’ – Archbishop Eamon The victims of the Cookstown tragedy - Morgan Bernard (17), Lauren Bullock (17) and Connor Currie (16)

Only faith can speak in the darkness of immense tragedy, Archbishop Eamon Martin has told the requiem Mass of Morgan Bernard this morning (Friday).

Morgan (17), Lauren Bullock (17) and Connor Currie (16) died outside a St Patrick’s Day event at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown following a crush.

The tragedy, Archbishop Eamon told mourners, remind us to “cherish every moment”.

Speaking at the Mass for Morgan at St Patrick’s Church in Dungannon, Archbishop Eamon said “words fail us at times like this. All that really matters, and makes a difference, is love and friendship and compassion.

“And only faith can dare to speak into the darkness of these days to offer a glimmer of light and hope in this valley of tears,” the archbishop said.

He said that as families, parishes, schools and communities “we’ve been circling each other around with love and faith and kindness and compassion.

“The shocking events of Sunday last have reminded us that life is very fragile; we need to cherish every moment and always look out for each other, and keep each other safe,” Dr Martin said.

In his homily during the Mass, local curate Fr Aidan McCann said “in the face of this great suffering and sorrow that is felt by us all at this difficult time many people can find it hard to believe and it can put their faith to the test.

“Why does God allow this? We must remember that God is not far removed from us in our sufferings and sorrows. In Jesus, God himself has suffered and was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief as the Book of Isaiah tells us.

“God understands our sorrows and he himself wept over them when he cried at the death of his friend Lazarus,” Fr McCann recalled.

Chief mourners at the funeral included Morgan’s parents Maria and Jimmy and siblings Calvin, Robyn, Regan and Elyssa.

Lauren Bullock is due to be buried later this morning after her funeral Mass in Donaghmore and Connor Currie will be laid to rest following requiem Mass in Edendork.