‘Dark cloud’ over communities after deaths of three friends in Co Tyrone crash

Peter Finnegan, Peter (Petey) McNamee and Nathan Corrigan, all in their 20s, died in an horrific crash in Co Tyrone in the early hours of Monday.
‘Dark cloud’ over communities after deaths of three friends in Co Tyrone crash

By Cate McCurry, PA

The deaths of three young friends killed in a crash in Co Tyrone “shocked and stunned” the whole country, mourners have been told.

Peter Finnegan, from Clogher, Peter (Petey) McNamee, from Garvaghey, and Nathan Corrigan, from Sixmilecross, all in their 20s, died in an horrific crash in Garvaghey, near Ballygawley, in the early hours of Monday morning.

Mr Finnegan’s funeral took place on New Year’s Day at St Patrick’s Church in Clogher.

Mourners at his funeral heard how all three communities have had a dark cloud hanging over them in the past week.

Garvaghy car crash
Left to right, Nathan Corrigan, Peter Alexander Finnegan and Petey McNamee (Police Service of Northern Ireland/PA)

Mr Finnegan, who worked for OHM Engineering in Clogher, was a son of Peter and Catherine Finnegan.

Parish priest Noel McGahan said the sudden death of Mr Finnegan has created a “deep void” in the lives of his parents.

Fr McGahan added: “The experience of death is always disturbing. But the death of a young person, in the prime of life, is overwhelming in its effects.

“It raises unanswerable questions and challenges the very meaning of the purpose of life and above all, it tests all our faith.

“The death of Peter with two of his friends, Nathan Corrigan and Peter McNamee, shocked and stunned the whole country.

Garvaghy car crash
Mourners outside St Patrick’s Church, Clogher, Co Tyrone, for the funeral of Peter Finnegan (Oliver McVeigh/PA)

“The communities of Garvaghey, Beragh and Clogher have had a dark cloud over all of these communities in the past week. But the greatest shock is for their families, friends and colleagues.

“The sudden departure of Peter has created a deep void in the lives of his parents. The greatest nightmare for any parent – to bury a child.

“It is very heartbreaking too for his sisters and brothers.

“To bury a child is to bury the future, to bury your parents is to bury the past.

“This sad experience is something that goes against the grain of nature and the rhythm of life itself.

“In trying to come to grips with this untimely death of Peter, it is as well to acknowledge that there is no easy answers, that there is no cheap consolation in the face of death.

 

“There is satisfied soundbites to soften the pain of loss, pious platitudes ring hollow on occasions like this.

“The virtuous man, though he died before his time, will find rest. Perhaps Peter has achieved as much at 21 years of age than if he had to live to be an old man.”

He said Mr Finnegan had a great work ethic and was an integral part of his work team at O’Hanlon engineering, and had a “very bright future”.

“His honest, never-give-up attitude was a very positive influence on his peers. He had this natural ability to form friendships and he will be greatly missed in his place of work where he was respected,” Fr McGahan added.

“He will always be remembered as the young man full of life and fun, and an enthusiastic young person.”

A number of objects symbolising Mr Finnegan’s life were brought to the altar, including a rugby and Gaelic football jersey, tools he used while working as a welder and pictures from family holidays.

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