Graveside anniversary mass for tragedy-hit Travellers
RELATIVES of the tragic Traveller family who died in the Carrickmines fire tragedy a year ago, were due in Wexford town yesterday (Monday) for a first anniversary blessing at Crosstown Cemetery.
A service following the deaths of Sylvia Connors, her husband Thomas Connors, aged 27, and their three children, Jim, aged five, Christy, aged two, and Mary, five months, was held in Wexford a year ago after 10 members of the Travelling community died in a terrible fire at a temporary halting site in Carrickmines last year.
Several members of the extended Connors family live in Wexford town where there were harrowing scenes following the service at Bride Street Church at which Fr Aodhan Marken extended the sympathies of Bishop Denis Brennan and the Diocese of Ferns to the devastated Connors' family and all members of the Travelling community.
People, many in tears stood with heads bowed as the sad procession of five hearses led by a piper made their way along the Quays to Crosstown, to whether their families and friends will return tomorrow in what will be an emotional and sorrow-filled reunion.
The previous day, Fr Derek Farrell of the Parish of the Travelling People said that although the young family had lived at the temportary site in Carrickmines and worshipped in that parish, their home place was Wexford.
'It's an important tradition in the Traveller community that they be buried in their home place,' said Fr Farrell, the chief celebrant at the funeral of Thomas and Silvia and their children at the Church of the Ascension in Balally. Yesterday's graveside blessing followed one earlier in the day of a memorial plaque at Balally Church, masses at the church and at the Holy Redeemer in Bray, a first anniversary cemetery blessing at Springfield in Bray, where the other five victims -- Willie Lynch, aged 27, his partner Tara, aged 27, who was pregnant at the time of her death, their children, Kelsey, aged 8 and Jodie, aged 9, and Willy's brother Jimmy, aged 39, -- are buried and a brief stop outside the site, where they died.