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Mourners hear how Nicole Fegan (12) made 'remarkable impact on so many lives'

The parents of Nicole Fegan carry her coffin as mourners gathered for her funeral in Mayobridge, Co Down. Picture by Mal McCan.

MOURNERS at the funeral of a 12 year-old girl killed in a beach buggy crash near Newry have heard how she made a "remarkable impact on so many lives" despite her young age.

The village of Mayobridge came to a standstill today as hundreds of people came together to say their final farewells to Nicole Fegan, who was described as "a shining light".

A guard of honour was formed outside St Patrick's Church by school friends and members of Mayobridge GAA club as her parents and family members carried her white coffin to her funeral Mass.

Parish priest Fr Charles Byrne described how Nicole - a gifted musician and sports player - had brought "great happiness and joy" to her family, friends and local community.

A Year 8 pupil at Our Lady's Grammar School, Newry, she died after a crash between a beach buggy and a pick-up truck on Saturday. She was a passenger on the beach buggy, which crashed on the Flagstaff Road. Her 14-year-old friend was injured in the collision.

Amid beautiful music performed by the Sunday Church Choir, in which Nicole was a member, the service began with 20 of her close friends carrying symbols of her life to the altar.

Among the items were her beloved Mayobridge GAA jersey, camogie stick, gymnastics leotard and a bright, shining letter 'N' to represent that "Nicole was a shining light to all who knew her".

Other symbols of the life of the "very gifted musician" were her tin whistle and flute as well as the dress she wore when she competed in the Scór na nÓg competition in Mayobridge, just a night before her tragic death.

Nicole Fegan performing in the Scór na nÓg competition in Co Down the Friday before she died. Picture from Mayobridge GAC/ Facebook

Fr Byrne described the "very great loss" felt by Nicole's family and friends and how they had been "plunged into darkness" by her passing.

"The news of Nicole's death on Saturday evening brought such shock and grief to the Fegan family, family circle, friends and local community in Mayobridge," he said.

He spoke about the "pain and sorrow" of all who knew her and said her family had been "robbed for their hopes and dreams" for her.

"... so many hopes and expectations can be no more," he said.

The priest also described the young girl's love of sport, including camogie, football and gymnastics, and her delight at taking part in the Scór na nÓg competition.

"Many of you will have memories of her singing on Friday night past and her warm smile," he said.

Fr Byrne also spoke about how Nicole had accomplished so much in her short life, bringing "a lot of happiness" into the loves of others.

"Nicole was a gentle and caring young person, who was fun-loving and very popular with her many friends," he said.

"She enjoyed life and enjoyed life to the full. She put a lot of everything into her 12 years.

"A special gift she was in her 12 years....her life was short but she made a remarkable impact on so many lives."

Nicole is survived by her parents Cathal and Margo, brothers Jason and Jamie, and wider family circle.

The funeral of Nicole Fegan in Mayobridge, Co Down. Picture by Mal McCann

The funeral of Nicole Fegan in Mayobridge, Co Down. Picture by Mal McCann

The funeral of Nicole Fegan in Mayobridge, Co Down. Picture by Mal McCann

The funeral of Nicole Fegan in Mayobridge, Co Down. Picture by Mal McCann

The funeral of Nicole Fegan in Mayobridge, Co Down. Picture by Mal McCann

The funeral of Nicole Fegan in Mayobridge, Co Down. Picture by Mal McCann

The funeral of Nicole Fegan in Mayobridge, Co Down. Picture by Mal McCann

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