Homily notes of Father James Sweeney PP for the Funeral Mass of Margaret McGonagle and Mairead Mundy RIP

24 Jul 2017

Church of Saint Joseph and Saint Conal, Bruckless, Co Donegal, Diocese of Raphoe

Today we gather as a community to commend the souls of Margaret McGonagle, her daughter Mairead Mundy and friend Rachel Battles to the care and mercy of God.

We, as a community give thanks today for the gifts of their lives.

Death is always difficult to deal with but the death of two members of one family and a family friend leaves with us a very acute pain.

The sense of loss can almost be overwhelming and indeed very difficult for the human mind to comprehend.

The community has rallied together over the last few days to support all the families involved.  The sense of community spirit has brought the parish together helping to provide all the support and assistance we can humanly give.

This tragedy has devastated the community and a sense of shock permeates the parish.

This tragedy has reminded us of the goodness and kindness and generosity of this rural community here in south Donegal.

We are today united in prayer for the deceased and continue to remember those injured in the accident.

Margaret, mother and grandmother.  Mairead, wife to Pauric, mother to Caoimhin, were well known members of the community.  They have been taken away very unexpectedly.

It is to our faith we turn for consolation and to the love and support of the community to help us at this difficult time.

We pray as one:

O Lord

Be my rock in this tumbling world

Be my strength

For I have none of my own

Let us reflect briefly on the spirit of generosity in the lives of Margaret and Mairead, and how we are all the richer for having known them.

Margaret McGonagle, née McKenna

Born, Sligo 1948.

Married and moved to Bruckless, Co Donegal in 1970.

Three children: Roger, Geoffrey and Mairead.

Dedicated her life to the home and children.

When all children were reared Margaret returned to education and became an accredited counsellor.

She was to the fore setting up the Donegal Rape Crisis in her early work and proceeded to work in different areas helping others with their trauma and difficulties.

An example of Margaret’s work was captured in the following tribute which is indicative of the sterling work she did with her clients, which I received in the past few days:


“I don’t know where to start, how to express how grateful I am to you.

“I have battled with my mental health for many years and thought it was something I would just have to accept to live with, that was until I met you.  You have changed my life completely, saved me as a person.

“You are an incredible woman.  Absolutely amazing at what you do!

“It’s a pleasure to have met you and I have enjoyed every second.  You have inspired me so much and helped me to smile again.  I will be forever grateful, you’ve been my butterfly!  (I say a butterfly is an angel helping you find your way) thank you so much for everything.

“I will never forget you.

“All my love forever.”


Mairead Mundy, née McGonagle 

Born 1 October 1979.

Lived in Bruckless all her life, a real home-bird, at the age of 18 Mairead moved to nearby Glenties, but after three days returned home to Mammy homesick!

Mairead was a champion Irish dancer and danced in both the Ulster and All-Ireland competitions.

In 2002 Mairead married Declan and they had a baby boy, Caoimhin, sadly Declan passed away in 2009.

Several years later she was blessed to meet Pauric and they began a happy life together with Caoimhin.

Having just celebrated their first wedding anniversary, it was tragically cut short by last week’s accident.  Mairead was much loved by many people, especially by Caoimhin, Pauric, her family and her friends.  Mairead will be sorely missed in all our hearts.

Rest in peace Mairead, a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend.



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