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RIP Funeral hears Saoirse Corrigan was 'a devoted teacher with a love for learning’

The gifts brought up during the service to represent Ms Corrigan’s life included a school diary, as she loved her job as a secondary school teacher, and a green and yellow flag to represent her devotion to GAA with her local club Ringtown.

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The funeral of Saoirse Corrigan from Whitehall, Castlepollard, at St. John The Baptist Church, Whitehall. Ms. Corrigan was one of three victims who died in a head-on collision between two vehicles near Kells, Co. Meath on New Year's Eve. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

The funeral of Saoirse Corrigan from Whitehall, Castlepollard, at St. John The Baptist Church, Whitehall. Ms. Corrigan was one of three victims who died in a head-on collision between two vehicles near Kells, Co. Meath on New Year's Eve. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

The funeral of Saoirse Corrigan from Whitehall, Castlepollard, at St. John The Baptist Church, Whitehall. Ms. Corrigan was one of three victims who died in a head-on collision between two vehicles near Kells, Co. Meath on New Year's Eve. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

An emotional funeral mass was held in Westmeath today for a young teacher who was killed in a New Year's Eve crash alongside her boyfriend.

Saoirse Corrigan (21) was described as a devoted teacher who had a love for learning, at the mass in St John The Baptist Church, Whitehall, Co Westmeath, this afternoon.

Her students from St Clare's College, Ballyjamesduff, Cavan, paid their respects at the ceremony as the school will close tomorrow, January, 6 as a mark of respect.

The gifts brought up during the service to represent Ms Corrigan’s life included a school diary, as she loved her job as a secondary school teacher, and a green and yellow flag to represent her devotion to GAA with her local club Ringtown.

A mobile phone was also brought up “for all the Insta updates and selfies” and make-up, as the priest said she took pride in her appearance.

A photo of Ms Corrigan and her boyfriend Shane Gilchrist (23), who also tragically died in the crash, was also placed on the altar as the two are now “together and happy forever.”

Mr Gilchrist’s funeral will take place tomorrow, January 6, at 11.30am in St. Michael's Church, Castlepollard, Co Westmeath.

The couple both tragically lost their lives on New Year's Eve when the car they were travelling in collided with another vehicle on the N52 in Kells at approximately 4.15pm.

While Ms Corrigan was sadly pronounced dead at the scene, Mr Gilchrist was rushed to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown but was pronounced dead on arrival.

The driver of the second car, Julie Kehoe, was brought to Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown, where she later passed away.

Her three children, a 12-year-old boy and two baby girls, were brought to Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda to be treated for their injuries.

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Saoirse Corrigan's coffin is carried by relatives at St John The Baptist Church, Whitehall, Castlepollard, Co Westmeath. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Saoirse Corrigan's coffin is carried by relatives at St John The Baptist Church, Whitehall, Castlepollard, Co Westmeath. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Saoirse Corrigan's coffin is carried by relatives at St John The Baptist Church, Whitehall, Castlepollard, Co Westmeath. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

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The conditions of the young girls were not described to be serious, but the 12-year-old boy was said to be in a serious condition and was transferred to Temple St Hospital.

Tributes were paid to both Ms Corrigan and Mr Gilchrist from local GAA clubs.

Ringtown GAA wrote on its Facebook page: "We are all in shock and devastated with the tragic death of our beautiful friend and club member Saoirse. We remember especially all her family members and her partner Shane, who also sadly died in the accident. RIP.

"May their gentle souls rest in peace. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha."

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Mourners gather for the funeral of Saoirse Corrigan from Whitehall, Castlepollard, Co Westmeath. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Mourners gather for the funeral of Saoirse Corrigan from Whitehall, Castlepollard, Co Westmeath. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Mourners gather for the funeral of Saoirse Corrigan from Whitehall, Castlepollard, Co Westmeath. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Castlepollard Hurling Club posted a photo of the couple, writing: “A terrible tragedy engulfed our community as two of our young beautiful souls were tragically taken from us decades too soon. Castlepollard Hurling & Camogie Club would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Gilchrist, Murray, Corrigan and Coffey families.

"Shane and Saoirse were both stalwarts in the Castlepollard and Ringtown Hurling Clubs and extended communities. Our hearts are broken for your loss in this most difficult time.

“May their gentle souls rest in peace."

The funeral notice detailed that Ms Corrigan is pre-deceased by her grandfather Michael and her passing is deeply regretted by her loving mother Orlene, loving father Michael, Andy, Keri, brothers Cathal and Cillian, sisters Brónagh and Gráinne, grandparents Michael-John, Josephine and Beatrice, uncles, aunts, extended family, all the staff and students at St Clare's College, Ballyjamesduff and a wide circle of friends.

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