Londonderry crash: Funeral for Aaron McDonald is held

Rev Judi McGaffin
Image caption Rev Judi McGaffin said she had been "shocked" and "saddened" to hear of the deaths

The funeral of one of two young men killed in a car crash on the outskirts of Londonderry has taken place.

Aaron McDonald, 19, and his cousin Michael McDonald, 21, from Donemana, near Strabane, were killed in the accident on Wednesday.

Aaron's funeral was held at St James' Parish Church in Donemana on Saturday.

Michael McDonald's funeral will be held at the same church on Sunday.

Church of Ireland minister at St James', Rev Judi McGaffin, said she had been "shocked" and "saddened" to hear of the deaths.

"I helped prepare Aaron for his confirmation some years ago, and I know Michael's family very well as well," she said.

"After the last few days of talking to the family, and what I have known in the past of the two boys, I could describe both of them in exactly the same way.

"They were fun-loving boys, they were very caring, compassionate, they were full of love for their families, for their community and they both radiated love as well."

Rev McGaffin said both families had been left "numbed" and devastated" by the deaths of Aaron and Michael.

"It will take some time for it all to sink in and with the help of the community they are coping," she said.

"Over the past few days I have been in Donemana with both families and I have noticed just how many young people are there.

Image caption The crash happened on the Victoria Road between Newbuildings and Magheramason

"There were hundreds, literally hundreds of young people there the other night, but yet the village was very quiet.

"Donemana is a very tight knit and a very caring and loving and very compassionate community.

"Everybody knows everybody and they're getting a lot of very clear support from their neighbours and friends and from people much wider afield than Donemana."

The crash happened on the Victoria Road between Newbuildings and Magheramason.

Two other people were in the car.

An 18-year-old man arrested after the accident has been released on bail pending further enquiries.

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