Funeral Of New Zealand Quake Victim

18 March 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By PATSY McARDLE

THERE WERE poignant scenes at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Carrickroe yesterday (Tues) for the funeral of a native of the parish and member of a well known local family, 41-years-old Mr. Owen McKenna, a father of two, and tragic victim of the earthquake which struck the New Zealand city of Christchurch with disastrous consequences, on February 22nd last.
The deceased’s remains were flown home last weekend for the concelebrated requiem mass and funeral in his native parish of Errigal Truagh, three miles from Emyvale.
The victim was son of Mrs Teresa McKenna and the late Michael McKenna of Brackagh, Emyvale.
The deceased, whose two children are aged five and six, was fatally injured as the result of the collapse of a building on his car during the horrific 6.5 Richter scale quake,
Mourners from both sides of the border travelled to the McKenna family residence at Brackagh, to pay their respects on Monday, and again yesterday morning, where they offered sympathy and words of comfort to the victim’s grieving relatives.
Huge crowds gathered at the family residence, and mourners, young and old, also lined the route to the Church of the Sacred Heart, as the deceased’s remains were borne the short distance from the dwelling at 11.30 a.m. for the concelebrated requiem mass at noon.
Very Rev. Fr Sean Nolan P.P. Errigal Truagh, concelebrated the Requim Mass, along with Rev Fr John Skinnader, a curate in Enniskillen, who is a neighbour and a very close friend of the bereaved Mc Kenna family.
The funeral Mass was broadcast live via the internet, so that the late Owen’s grief-stricken wife, Sarah, and all the family friends around the world were able to join in prayer with the grieving Mc Kenna family.
The local GAA club provided stewards to help with parking and local traffic arrangements. Members of Truagh Gaels Gaelic Football club also formed a guard of honour at the Church.
In offering prayers for the deceased and for the bereaved family, Fr. Nolan spoke of the grief in the community over the tragedy.
Rev. Fr. Nolan referred at the funeral mass yesterday to the fact that Mr McKenna had expressed his wish to be buried in Ireland.
“He was very much associated with the area here,” the priest said.
“He had very strong tradition of Irish culture, music, song and dance, and always expressed a wish if anything happened to him that his remains would be brought back home.”
Mr McKenna trained as a nurse in London before he worked in Saudi Arabia where he met his wife and the couple moved to New Zealand about seven years ago.

Full story in The Northern Standard

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