"There is no greater burden than losing a son or brother," says priest
THE family of a young crash victim from Dundalk who was buried on Wednesday last will always remember his "cheeky smile".
Speaking at the funeral mass for PJ (Patrick) Harper, Fr Paul Montague said the 22-year-old was an "outgoing lad who loved to sing in the shower".
PJ from St Ronan's Terrace, Dundalk died when his BMW went out of control early on New Year's Day.
Hundreds of mourners turned out for PJ's funeral mass, which took place in the Church of the Holy Redeeemer in Ard Easmuinn on Wednesday, January 5.
Fr Montague said that PJ grew up in London but returned with his family to live in Dundalk when he was 17-years-old.
He mentioned that he had lots of friends, both in London and in Dundalk and that he was a big Liverpool fan.
"PJ loved his car and loved music. He was always there for his family, who are comforted by the thought that he is now with his grandparents and cousin, Marissa," said Fr Montague.
"This is a terrible tragedy. There can be no greater burden than losing a son or a brother but you should take comfort that he is with the Holy Mother now.
"We pray for her support and that those who have been left behind will be comforted in this dark time."
The burial took place afterwards in St Patrick's Cemetery. PJ is survived by his heartbroken parents, Patrick and Nora; brothers Joey, Martin and Darren; sister Geraldine; grandfather Daddy Harper; and grandmother Granny Joyce.
He is also sadly missed by Geraldine's husband, Charlie; and their daughters, Ciana and Annabel; Martin's girlfriend, Stacey; and his many uncles, aunts, cousins and friends.
PJ died when his BMW went out of control early on New Year's Day on the southbound lane of the motorway between junctions 15 and 16.
It is thought it veered to the left-hand side of the road and crossed over the hard shoulder before going into a field alongside the motorway. A wooden pole went through the driver's door.
It is believed PJ and a 17-year-old passenger in the car, Susan Larrigan from Slieve Roe Crescent, Muirhevnamor, Dundalk would have died instantly.
PJ's friend, Susan, was buried on Tuesday, January 4, exactly a week shy of her 18th birthday. Susan is very deeply regretted by her loving parents, Mark and Valerie; her brother Ned; sister Nicola; and her devastated grandparents, family, relatives and friends.
Anyone who witnessed the crash should contact gardai on 041-687 1130 or the Garda confidential line at 1800-666 111.
l Mourners following the remains of PJ Harper
l PJ Harper's funeral