Northern Ireland

Emotional scenes as road victim's body returns home

Road accident victim, Rebecca Browne's funeral will take place in Derry on Friday. Picture: Facebook
Road accident victim, Rebecca Browne's funeral will take place in Derry on Friday. Picture: Facebook

Friends and family of road accident victim Rebecca Browne have been joined by huge crowds as her remains were returned home in advance of her funeral on Friday.

There were emotional scenes outside the family home with many friends crying openly as Ms Browne’s remains were greeted by her mum and dad, Lynn and Jeremia and younger brother Ethan at Elaghmore Park in Derry late on Tuesday.

Ms Browne (21) died when she was struck by a Garda patrol car at Ludden on the outskirts of Buncrana early on Sunday morning.

From Galliagh in Derry, Ms Browne was returning to accommodation along with her cousin from a wedding reception when the accident occurred on the main Derry to Buncrana road.

A spokesman for the Garda Ombudsman said an investigation into the tragedy was still ongoing. The spokesman told The Irish News, the ombudsman was automatically called in under the Republic’s Garda Síochána Act as the accident involved a Garda vehicle.

A hairdresser with Sage Hair and Beauty salon in Derry’s Waterside, Ms Browne’s death sparked a huge outpouring of public grief in both Derry and Donegal. A Gofundme page set up to help cover the cost of her funeral has already surpassed double its £3,000 target. The fund recorded £7,000 in donations by Wednesday afternoon.

As tributes continued, close friend Karina Smith wrote an emotional poem about the young Derry woman which she published on social media. Ms Smith said her friend was a “beacon of light” and the ”happiest, kindest soul”. She said Ms Browne’s “special light” would always be missed.

Ms Browne’s funeral will take place from her home at Elaghmore Park in Galliagh at 9.25am on Friday to St Joseph’s Church for Requiem Mass at 10am with interment immediately afterwards at Derry city cemetery.