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‘Hard to comprehend’ that Ronan Wilson (9) is dead, boy’s funeral mass hears

The coffin of Ronan Wilson is carried into St Mary's Church, Dunamore, for his funeral. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

It is “hard to comprehend that we are gathered here today ... to celebrate his short life,” the priest has told mourners at the funeral of Ronan Wilson, which is under way in Co Tyrone.

The nine-year-old, from Kildress, was killed in a hit-and-run collision in Co Donegal last weekend.

Welcoming mourners to St Mary’s church in Dunamore, Fr Paddy Hughes said that “nine years ago, I baptised Ronan in this church” and “over a year and a half ago, I celebrated his First Communion Mass.”

“Today we pray for his parents, we pray for all who mourn his loss,” he said.

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Schoolfriends and team-mates at Ronan’s beloved Kildress Wolfe Tone’s GAA club were among those who brought gifts to the altar in a “procession of mementoes” to celebrates his life.

They included a football and football boots, an Xbox controller, family pictures, a “wee lorry to represent his love of lorries”, his school jersey and a Tyrone jersey.

Ronan Wilson was visiting Bundoran with his family when the collision took place on Atlantic Way on Saturday evening. He was pronounced dead at the scene a short time afterwards.

Sergee Kelly, 23, from Upper Mullaghmore, Co Sligo, appeared at Carrick-On-Shannon District Court on Tuesday charged with failing to stop after the collision, failing to remain at the scene and failing to offer help to the injured party.

The court was told that when charged, Mr Kelly told gardaí: “It was wrong and I should have stopped, but I didn’t.”

He was released on bail, and the case was adjourned until next month.

More to follow.

Freya McClements

Freya McClements

Freya McClements is Northern Editor of The Irish Times