Crash survivor’s eulogy at funeral of her husband and children

A grieving mother who was left ‘hysterical with grief’ after surviving a car crash that killed her husband and two children has paid tribute to her ‘fabulous’ and ‘amazing’  family in a remarkable eulogy.

Geraldine Mullan, 45, lost her husband John Mullan, 49, and children Tomas, 14, and Amelia, six, when their car plunged off the road into Lough Foyle in Donegal, Ireland, last week after a family day out.    

Speaking at a mass held yesterday in their hometown of Moville, Geraldine, a nurse, revealed her teenage son was found with his arms around his little sister, and that she had bought her husband 50 birthday presents which were hidden around the house ahead of his birthday next month.

Remaining incredibly composed as she delivered the lengthy tribute to her family, Geraldine told her ‘dearest John’: ‘I thank you for being with them, because I know that’s were you want to be, is looking after our two rascals but, unfortunately, I was left behind. In my sorrow and in my suffering, I will be held together by your love and your strength and your guidance.’     

Geraldine Mullan, 45, lost her husband John Mullan, 49, and children Tomas, 14, and Amelia, six, when their car plunged off the road into Lough Foyle in Donegal, Ireland, last week. She is pictured hugging the casket at their funeral yesterday

Geraldine Mullan, 45, lost her husband John Mullan, 49, and children Tomas, 14, and Amelia, six, when their car plunged off the road into Lough Foyle in Donegal, Ireland, last week. She is pictured hugging the casket at their funeral yesterday

The family had been out for a day, a ‘rare day off’ work for Geraldine and John, who ran a local garden centre.

They initially had planned to trek Fermanagh’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ but instead decided to go to the cinema and bowling, due to Storm Eileen preventing hiking.

‘It is true what they say, in a second your life changes completely and on the 21st August, 2020, at half nine, when we were supposed to be coming home and planning our next few days together, my life was irrevocably changed for the worst,’ Geraldine said. 

‘We landed in the water, upside down, with about 12 feet of water above us and the waves crashing,’ she said in the eulogy, which has been published by Donegal Live

Paying tribute to her children, Geraldine added that neighbours often saw Tómas and Amelia ‘walking hand-in-hand’, and that they held each other in their final moments. 

‘He was the best big brother to the end because, when they found them, Amelia was in Tómas’ arms, just as you can see in the family photograph down there, that’s where she loved to be.

‘So, for that Tómas, I thank you for minding my dearest Amelia up to the end.’

She also thanked  Tómas for ‘being the best son’ and ‘never giving her a minute’s worry or sorrow.

Speaking at a mass held yesterday in their hometown of Moville, Geraldine, a nurse, revealed her teenage son was found with his arms around his little sister, and that she had bought her husband 50 birthday presents which were hidden around the house ahead of his birthday next month. She is pictured at their funeral yesterday

Speaking at a mass held yesterday in their hometown of Moville, Geraldine, a nurse, revealed her teenage son was found with his arms around his little sister, and that she had bought her husband 50 birthday presents which were hidden around the house ahead of his birthday next month. She is pictured at their funeral yesterday

‘All you did was fill my heart with pride and joy. In those 14 years, you grew into such a handsome, strong young man, one I am eternally proud of’

The widow also shared how she’d been planning a big surprise for her husband’s 50th birthday, which she will now have to celebrate without him.

‘As many of you are aware, two weeks today, my beloved John would have been 50. His life-long dream was to get to Cape Canaveral because he is obsessed with space travel. Unfortunately, due to the Covid, that wasn’t going to happen. 

‘So, myself and the kids, had decided that we would do 50 presents for the “super bestest daddy in the whole world.” 

‘So, at home, there are 50 presents all over the house because for the past number of weeks and months, I have been ordering stuff online and John would say, “What came today?” and I would say, “Don’t worry about it pet. I haven’t a clue. Just leave it there and I’ll open it later.”

‘Unfortunately, I have nobody to give those presents to now. And I know Seamus, promise you will have the cake for me, as we did for every single birthday and I will sing Happy Birthday to John and he will have the 50 presents always from me. 

Paying tribute to her children, Geraldine added that neighbours often saw Tómas and Amelia 'walking hand-in-hand', and that they held each other in their final moments. They are pictured all together

Paying tribute to her children, Geraldine added that neighbours often saw Tómas and Amelia ‘walking hand-in-hand’, and that they held each other in their final moments. They are pictured all together

The nurse also said that in the minutes before the accident, the family laughed and joked, and Tómas shared his plans to go into medicine or pharmacy when he finished school.    

‘As usual, his little sister piped up and said, “TT perhaps you could make some medicine for children who are sick that doesn’t taste yucky, because medicine is always yucky”,’ Geraldine added. 

‘So, TT, I hope you are up in Heaven, coming up with some concoction along with Amelia, because I know, if you and Amelia had been able to fulfil your dreams, you would definitely have made that medicine for your little sister. 

Geraldine added that she knows she has ‘dark days and weeks and months’ ahead but she will get a sign that shows her family are looking out for her.  

The grieving mother also revealed she would still turn up to her daughter’s under 8s football training to watch, and to go watch he son’s fellow Sea Scouts collect badges, as well as his Karate class to pick up belts. 

The nurse also said that in the minutes before the accident, the family laughed and joked, and Tómas shared his plans to go into medicine or pharmacy when he finished school. Pictured are the hearses leading the funeral procession

The nurse also said that in the minutes before the accident, the family laughed and joked, and Tómas shared his plans to go into medicine or pharmacy when he finished school. Pictured are the hearses leading the funeral procession

‘I could go on and on and on and tell each and everyone of you what a fabulous husband and what an amazing son and daughter I have,’ she continued.

‘I was privileged and honoured to be Tómas and Amelia’s Mum. I’m just sorry that I didn’t get to be their Mum for longer.  

Geraldine called John ‘her rock, soulmate and best friend,’ who ‘showed her what true love is all about’.  

‘I look forward to the day when I get you to put your arms around me once more because that’s when I feel safest, most loved when I was in your arms, darling,’ she added.

Before concluding her speech, she asked fellow mourners to go home and ‘hug their loved one’ because she has ‘no-one to kiss and hug’.

‘Cherish each day as if it were your last. Because last Thursday was the last day I got to spend with my beloved family. So that’s what I ask.

‘John, Tómas and Amelia, I love each and everyone of you, to the moon and stars and back again. To infinity and beyond plus 100. That love will never end. And I will see you soon. Thank you very much.’ 

It is understood their car plunged into the water at Quigley’s Point at around 10.20pm when Mr Mullan, who was driving, lost control of the vehicle.

After Mrs Mullen got out of the vehicle and called for help, Gardaí (Irish police) and emergency services arrived at the scene.

The victims were taken to Letterkenny University Hospital mortuary where post-mortem examinations will be held.

Gardai are appealing for anyone who was travelling on the road between 10pm and 10.30pm on Thursday to come forward.

They want to hear from anyone who may have seen a Black Mitsubishi ASX, registration number 11 DL 1566, in the area at the time.

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