There were poignant scenes at the weekend as the village of Donemana said goodbye to two popular young residents, cousins Aaron and Michael McDonald.
The young cousins died in a tragic accident on Wednesday of last week, when the black Volkswagen Golf in which they were back seat passengers, crashed at Victoria Road as they and two others were travelling between Maghaeramason and Newbuildings at around 3.30am.
Their deaths bring to 28 the number of people who have died this year.
Two other people in the car were taken to hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries and later released.
Their funerals were both held at Earlsgift Parish Church in the village. Aaron’s funeral took place on Saturday and Michael’s the following day.
The distraught families appealed for privacy at the funeral services.
Aaron McDonald, was just 19 years of age and from 65 Allen Park in the village. He was a son of Roberta and Clarke McDonald, and was a brother to Dylan and Steven. He was also the first grandson of Earnest and Amy McDonald.
His funeral on Saturday afternoon to St James Parish Church, Earlsgift, in Donemana was widely attended and was followed by burial at Mountcastle Cemetery.
His cousin, Michael was predeceased by his mother, Ellen. A devoted brother to Billy, he was also devoted to his grandparents, Norman and Thelma.
His poignant funeral took place from his late home at 68 Allen Park in Donemana, at 2pm also for a Service of Thanksgiving in St James Parish Church at 2.30pm, with burial afterwards in St Michael’s burial ground.
Due to the large number of mourners who attended the services, motorists were advised by the PSNI to seek alternative routes.
Donations in lieu of flowers are being taken by Ruth Hay, funeral directors at Spencer Road in Londonderry and Adair and Neely Funeral Directors on Duke Street, to St James Parish Church.