Man (21) killed on way to pick up baby from hospital ‘was so proud’ of new son, funeral told

Phillip Rainey from the Garvaghey Road, Ballygawley, was killed in an accident on the M1 near Dungannon on Wednesday morning

Phillip Rainey died following a crash on the M1 (Family photo/Alan Lewis)

Philip Rainey who died when his car left the M1 motorway near Dungannon on Wednesday as he was travelling to hospital to pick up his wife and child. Alan Lewis -© Photopress Belfast

Staff ReporterBelfast Telegraph

A young man killed in a car crash in Co Tyrone had just enjoyed his “proudest moment” when he held his baby son, his funeral has heard.

Mourners gathered on Sunday to pay their final respects to Phillip Rainey.

The 21-year-old, from the Garvaghey Road, Ballygawley, was killed in an accident on the M1 near Dungannon on Wednesday morning.

He was on the way to hospital to bring his fiancée, Gemma, and newborn baby, Archie, home.

Mr Rainey’s funeral took place at Clogherney Presbyterian Church on Sunday afternoon.

Addressing mourners, Rev Robert McFaul referred to a much-quoted line from the late Queen, as he told of the heartache the tragedy has caused.

He said: “Mourning is difficult at all times. Today, because of the sudden nature of Phillip's death, it is especially difficult. Everyone is in shock, and none of us can imagine what this is like for his family.

“Her Majesty the late Queen Elizabeth II said that ‘Grief is the price we pay for love’. The grief we are witnessing today is evidence that Phillip Rainey was loved; by his mother and father, his brother, sister, partner and wider family.

“And remember those words from the tribute: that holding his baby son Archie was the ‘proudest moment of Phillip's life’. Phillip loved Archie.

“What could possibly make this grieving any more difficult? I wish to suggest one thing that would make it more difficult. That is to grieve without the help of Jesus Christ.”

Following the service, interment took place in the adjoining churchyard.

Mr Rainey died after his white BMW 520 left the east-bound carriageway near the Stangmore junction at Dungannon at about 10.40am on Wednesday.

A family notice said he was the "cherished partner of Gemma, doting daddy of baby Archie William Mark, treasured son of Mark and Nicola, loving brother of Rebecca and Isaac and a much loved grandson”.

His grandfather Allan Rainey, vice chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, had said the entire family has been left heartbroken by the news.

“Phillip was a lovely lad, so modest. He put 100% into everything he did and was so happy,” he previously told the Belfast Telegraph.

“I wouldn’t be a big sportsman, but I know Phillip was, and all his teammates thought so highly of him. He gave his all in anything he put his mind to.

“He was on his way to the hospital to bring his fiancée and wee newborn baby home to begin a new chapter in their life. What could be more pleasant? They had everything looking up for them and for it to end so tragically out of nowhere... there are no words.

“Everyone who knew and loved Phillip are just heartbroken.”

Mr Rainey was a keen rugby player. His team, Omagh Academicals RFC, also paid their respects.

The club said: “He was a proud Accie who played his heart out every time he took to the field and was the life and soul after the game. Gone far too soon and an absolute gentleman. Thoughts and prayers go out to the Rainey and McKeown families and all his friends. May he rest in peace.”

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