Republic of Ireland news

Funeral of Co Donegal schoolgirl hears of courage in 'abundance' during cancer treatment

Caitlin Strain, from Burnfoot near the Co Donegal border, died on Sunday after battling a brain tumour diagnosed last year.
Paul Ainsworth

CO Donegal girl Caitlin Strain has been remembered as someone who "touched so many hearts" during a funeral service for the nine-year-old who lost her battle with cancer.

From Burnfoot, Caitlin, who had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in February 2021, died on Sunday in Letterkenny University Hospital after having undergone treatment earlier this year in the US.

A GoFundMe campaign had raised over €127,000 for her family to cover the costs.

At her funeral in St Aengus' Church in Burt, Fr Declan Gibson said her family had "real hope" following her treatment in Texas, before her condition worsened.

Fr Gibson, a brother of Caitlin's mother, said of his niece: "She lived a short life but touched so many hearts in this short time," adding that "when you came to the house you couldn’t leave not knowing Caitlin."

During the service, friends of Caitlin from St. Aengus' National School in Bridgend brought symbols representing their fellow pupil to the alter, including a toy, her mobile phone, and a fiddle in honour of her passion for music.

Fr Gibson described her courage during her cancer treatment as a "rare gift", saying: "It was rare to see it in such abundance."

He added: "It is remarkable that someone of nine years of age has touched people all over the world. She lived a beautiful life in so many, many ways."

Following the service, a burial was held at St Mura’s Cemetery in Fahan.

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