Glasgow & West Scotland

Glasgow bin lorry crash: Funeral for Stephenie Tait

Order of service for Stephenie Tait
Image caption Ms Tait was a teacher at St Philomena's Primary School in Glasgow

About 800 people have attended a funeral service for a teacher who died in the Glasgow bin lorry crash.

Stephenie Tait, 29, from the city, died when she was hit by the out-of-control council vehicle on 22 December.

A private mass led by Canon Peter McBride was held at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church in Riddrie, Glasgow.

Six people were killed and 10 more injured when the lorry ploughed into pedestrians in the city's Queen Street and George Square.

Family and friends of Ms Tait, who was a teacher at St Philomena's Primary School in Glasgow, also privately attended a ceremony at Daldowie Crematorium.

'Horrendous accident'

In his homily Canon McBride said no-one could have foreseen the "horrendous accident which caused death and carnage" in central Glasgow and "acute" loss and "tangible" pain to so many families.

Referring to Ms Tait's own family, Canon McBride said: "We come here as family to surround Alan, Margaret, Pamela and Martin with our presence, our prayers and our love.

"All of us are still in a state of shock at the loss of Stephenie and that sense of loss will continue for those closest to her for the rest of their lives.

"However, we also gather as a people of faith, inspired by Stephenie's own faith- a personal witness which energised her to dedicate her short life to teaching children and directly helping them to understand and feel God's personal love for each of them."

Canon McBride recalled how Ms Tait was "comfortable and very much at home" in Saint Thomas the Apostle Church.

"The very night before she was taken from us she gathered here with so many to reflect on the Christmas story at our annual carol concert which featured some of the children who are with us for this Mass and members of our deanery choir who are also here today," he said.

Canon McBride said Ms Tait's death had been "reported far beyond the confines of this parish community" and provoked "so many expressions of solidarity and prayers" for her family.

Image copyright PA
Image copyright PA
Image caption Geraldine Parkinson, head teacher from St Thomas Primary School, with pupils

"But we are here to celebrate not her death, but her life, because her life too has had a tremendous impact on so many people," he said.

"She brought order, organisation, good humour and a sense of calm into family life, her teaching career, her parish ministry, and into her friendships.

'Legacy of fun'

"Her attention to detail - especially personal grooming - is legendary, and she has left a legacy of fun and laughter combined with a strong determination to be all you can be.

"She was a modern woman with strong principles and values she felt were worth handing on to others."

Canon McBride added: "Her dedication and service as a teacher and her ability to engage and inspire all of us with an intimacy we normally only associate with family or special friends, is a blessing we shall cherish for the rest of our lives."

Image caption (Clockwise from top left) Jack Sweeney, Lorraine Sweeney, Erin McQuade,, Jacqueline Morton, Stephenie Tait and Gillian Ewing

Funerals for the other five victims have already taken place.

A service for Erin McQuade, 18, and her grandparents Lorraine, 69, and Jack Sweeney, 68, was held at St Patrick's RC Church in Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire on Saturday.

Services have also been held for tax worker Jacqueline Morton, 51, from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh.

Two patients remain in two Glasgow hospitals following the crash on 22 December.

A 14-year-old girl is stable at the Royal Infirmary and a 57-year-old man - believed to be the lorry driver - is stable at the Western Infirmary.

Meanwhile, the Crown Office has said no decision has yet been taken about whether a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) will be held into the deaths.

The tragedy is still under investigation, and until police submit a report to the procurator fiscal, prosecutors cannot decide whether an FAI will be held.

They will also have to decide whether to initiate criminal proceedings.