Northern Ireland news

Derry teacher Caina Healey inspired others to "live life to the full"

Caina Healey's funeral took place at St Eugene's Cathedral in Derry on Friday. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus McKinney

DERRY teacher Caina Healey, who died in a road accident in the United Arab Emirates, was full of life and inspired others to live life to the full, mourners at her funeral heard on Friday.

Ms Healey (35) died when she was struck by a car while cycling to the Amity International School in Abu Dhabi on March 15.

From Mount Street in the Rosemount area, Ms Healey was a keen and successful sport woman.

She played Gaelic football with Abu Dhabi Na Fianna and was an accomplished swimmer and cyclist. However, her key event sporting achievements were as a triathlete and she competed in triathlons in Ireland and in the UAE.

Following her death, tributes were paid from sporting organisations throughout Ireland and in the Middle East.

Mourners at her funeral at St Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry on Friday were led by Ms Healey’s parents, Brian and Nuala, her sister and brother, Maureen and Mark and her partner, Lauren.

At the start of Requiem Mass, Ms Healey’s sister read a brief poem expressing the love she felt for her.

St Eugene’s administrator, Fr Paul Farren said Ms Healey had “all the talents.” Fr Farren, who was joined by Irish Army chaplain, Fr Jerry Carroll, said Ms Healey used her talents well.

“She was so full of life. She was so energetic. She realised that life was for living and she was living it. There was no challenge too big for Caina and you could see this so obviously in sport.

“All the tributes paid to her reveal how infectiously she lived life. She brought life to others. She inspired others to live life to the full,” Fr Farren said.

The Derry priest said this was clear from the students she taught and coached. He said Ms Healey was giving and generous, always ready to help others with her talent and time.

“She had a big heart and a giving heart. She believed in justice and she cared for others. She was a life-guard; she saved lives. She loved children and brought them so much joy.”

Ms Healey was a competitor who had no bother in pushing herself. Fr Farren said the Derry woman echoed the words of the Requiem Mass readings because she “fought the good fight to the end”.

“Caina never did things in half measures. I know that she was a profound blessing to so many people, a treasure, a gift from God,” he said.

Fr Farren said her family would also be forever grateful for having her remains returned home so quickly and for being able to see her to say goodbye.

Following Requiem Mass, Ms Healey was laid to rest in Derry city cemetery.

Northern Ireland news