heart-breaking | 

Dad of camogie player Kate Moran tells funeral mass, 'We hope Kate, our love, didn’t suffer much'

Kate (20) was fatally injured playing for Athenry Camogie Club in a senior league game in Ardrahan on Monday.

Athenry camogie team mates look on as the hearse carrying the remains of Kate Moran arrives at the Church of The Sacred Heart in Ryehill, Monivea, Co Galway. Picture: Frank McGrath

The hearse carrying the remains of Kate Moran arriving at the Church of The Sacred Heart in Ryehill, Monivea, Co Galway. Picture: Frank McGrath

Kate Moran was playing camogie when she was struck accidentally

Eavan Murray

Kate Moran’s parents, Cathal and Mary, and her siblings Thady, Leah and Saoirse clung to one another as they followed her coffin to the altar of The Sacred Heart church in Monivea.

Her boyfriend, TJ Brennan, laid his hand gently on her coffin and bowed his head.

As hundreds of stunned mourners stood together in silence, Kate’s dad Cathal paid tribute to his daughter, his “Beautiful and shining light.”

“We hope Kate, our love, didn’t suffer much. When this happened to her, I think it was quick,” he said..

“I was very close to her when it happened.

“I won’t say much more about that terrible evening; I think of our beautiful Kate who we loved so dearly.

“Mary and I are so proud to be your parents, Kate, and we loved you so much since the day you were born.

Kate Moran was playing camogie when she was struck accidentally

“I think you are our angel now, Kate, and I think you were such a special girl; there is something else happening, I don’t know what.”

Ms Moran, 20, from the village of Monivea, was fatally injured playing for Athenry Camogie Club in a senior league game in Ardrahan on Monday.

A rising star of the sport who won two All-Ireland medals for Galway at under-16 level, she died in hospital on Tuesday.

GAA players from Monivea and Athenry lined the route outside the Church of the Sacred Heart, Ryehill, Monivea, on Friday, with many gathered for over an hour before the funeral began.

Galway and Athenry GAA flags flickered outside the church as dozens listened to the service.

Mr Moran said: “Kate always had a pep in her step. She always had a lot of things to do.

“In recent times, there was so much coming together for her – she had so much beauty in her life.

“She had so many strings to her bow. She had so many friends from so many circles of life.

“And she loved to have fun.

“Another thing about Kate we are so proud of is she always did the right thing.

“Kate used to come into the office with me the odd time, and she would walk with me down to the office from the church car park.

“That was a beautiful part of the day; I was so proud to have her walking shoulder-to-shoulder with me along those steps through the streets of Athenry.

“We used to have a great time in the office; neither of us wanted the phone to ring that much.

“She is 20 years of age, and she was going to be 21 in a few weeks.

“Mary, her mother and Kate had planned a five-day break together in New York to celebrate that time.

“But sadly, that day didn’t come.

“Once Kate came in the back door of our house, whether home from work or training, we were so happy to see her lovely smile.

“That was enough for us. It was all we wanted.

“To TJ, Kate’s boyfriend, he has been coming to our house for a couple of years now.

“We know she loved you, TJ, and she knew you loved her, and you had a marvellous time.

“We are so sorry that has stopped short.

The hearse carring the remains of Kate Moran pictured arriving at the Church of The Sacred Heart in Ryhill, Monivea, Co Galway.Picture redit:Frank McGrath 22/4/22

“She was awful, awful fond of you, TJ, and I’m sorry if I got in your way some evenings.

“I know when I would come home in the evening, I’d be asking you about hurling, and I’d take up a good bit of your time.

“Mary and I and Kate’s sisters Leah and Saoirse and her brother Thady were so proud and privileged Kate to have you with us. You were such a darling girl and the most gorgeous beautiful girl.

“You are a shining light who was always smiling. You were endearing to everyone, Kate, and it was very easy to love you.

“You had that way about you. You always kept it simple. You always asked us for very little.

"We can’t do any more, Kate. There is no other choice; we have to let you go somewhere else, Kate.

“We hope that you are ok and at peace and that you know that we are absolutely always with you.

“Because we wouldn’t be able to do anything else ever again, Kate, if you weren’t with us.

“And you know the love that we had together, all of us.

“I don’t know how we are going to manage Kate, but we will have to work something out together, the six of us.

“We have to believe Kate that you are coming home to us some time.

“There was a song we used to always play on the way to training by the Saw Doctors - Will You Meet Me On Clare Island.

"We will have that dance someday Kate and we will all meet you on Clare Island, Kate; we will be waiting there for you.”

“Kate, you have given us the greatest pleasure and happiness, and I can’t believe we are in this position.

“We will always have you with us.”

Parish priest Ronnie Boyle said the community “has been stunned into silence by this inconceivable, terrible, unfortunate accident”.

He said the best way to celebrate Ms Moran’s life is with words and action “because that’s what Kate was”.

He described her as a “beautiful young woman, blessed with so much talent and ability in this life”.

“Talent as a camogie player, what a bright future she had,” he told mourners.

“An intelligent and ambitious student, a caring daughter, friend and teammate.

“The more we think about all her qualities, the more we are confounded by the nature of her death.”

He described her life as “filled by such promise” and said she had a beautiful, deeply loving family.

Following the funeral mass, Ms Moran was laid to rest in Templemoyle Cemetery in Athenry.

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