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Funeral of councillor Manus Kelly takes place in Donegal

The 41-year-old died in a crash while taking part in the Donegal International Rally.

HUNDREDS OF MOURNERS gathered this morning for the funeral mass of Fianna Fáil councilor Manus ‘Mandy’ Kelly at his home parish of Glenswilly, Co Donegal.

The 41-year-old died in a crash while taking part in the Donegal International Rally over the weekend. 

The father-of-five was a highly experienced rally driver and won the event on three previous occasions.

This morning’s mass at St Columba’s church was celebrated by Father Paddy Dunne who described Manus’ death as a “dreadful shock” to everyone. 

“I think we’re still trying to come to terms with the reality that he’s gone,” he said. 

Father Dunne described how moving it was to see the local community fall silent as Manus’ remains returned home this week. 

To see the car engines being turned off, Letterkenny town go silent, cars pulling over and people coming out of everywhere to line the streets and ditches to welcome Manus, to honor him on his way back home again. It was something he’d be so proud of himself.

“To see the queues over the wake these last few days, I know what he was thinking: ‘There were some votes there boy’,” Father Dunne joked.

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Manus was recently elected as a Fianna Fáil councillor on Donegal County Council in May’s local elections. Party leader Micheál Martin was among the mourners at this morning’s mass. 

During his homily, Father Dunne quoted a friend of Manus who said: “When he went in somewhere, he went in smiling and cheerfully greeted people, but he didn’t take that smile with him, he left it in the person’s heart.” 

Speaking of Manus’ friends, Father Dunne recounted the number of people he had met recently who felt they were important to Manus. 

“Manus had that uncanny ability to be so warm, cheerful, good humoured. He’s touched all of us in different ways, so deeply that he’s left his mark.” 

Manus is survived by his wife Bernie, his children, his parents, his four sisters and four brothers.

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