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'Our hearts are broken, tears are falling like rain': Tributes paid to Melissa Patterson

The 18-year-old died in a car crash in Mayo on Thursday.

TRIBUTES HAVE BEEN flooding in for Melissa Patterson, the 18-year-old who died in a car crash in Mayo on Thursday.

Melissa was a student at Davitt College. She was a half-back with the Castlebar Mitchels GAA club and also played soccer with Castlebar Town FC.

This weekend our great club is in mourning as we Castlebar Mitchels Source: Castlebar Mitchels

Michael Gallagher of Castlebar Mitchels said the club is devastated by her death.

In an emotional statement, he said:

“Our hearts are broken, tears are falling like rain and all we can do is sit and hold one another and remember Melissa dancing down the wing in her beloved red and yellow.

“Melissa changed the whole history of our club when she arrived at training one Saturday morning nine years ago. From that moment on, the world was a brighter place and the possibilities were limitless. Football became a central part of life for Melissa and her twin sister Belinda and they, in turn became a central part of the life of the Mitchels.”

Gallagher said Melissa and Belinda were “known far and wide for their dashing play, stunning skills and pure unadulterated bravery”.

Nobody said it, but Melissa was the heartbeat of the group. She was the pulse that gave the team life and her will to win was something to behold. She was destined for great things – the club was destined for great things – then fate intervened.
Melissa Patterson was proud to be a Mitchel and the Mitchels were very proud to have her as a magical member of our happy band. The future was shining like a beacon and then, in the blink of an eye, everything changed.
How we recover from this will be decided in the coming months and years, but right now we will grieve as a club, we will grieve as a family; we will stand shoulder to shoulder with the wonderful Pattersons and give Melissa the send-off she deserves.
Now we must carry Melissa with us in our hearts forever more. May her gentle soul rest in peace.

Mayo Ladies GAA also expressed their sadness at Melissa’s death.

Ina statement the organisation said it was in shock and expressed “sincerest condolences on this saddest of days” to her family and friends.

Melissa’s funeral is set to take place at Kilcoyne’s Funeral Home from Saturday evening from 5 o’clock until 8 o’clock. Requiem mass will take place on Monday at 11am in the Church of the Holy Rosary, Castlebar.

The teenager was walking on the N60 Castlebar to Claremorris Road at about 5pm when she was hit by a car. The driver of the vehicle, an 83-year-old woman, and her young male passenger were both hospitalised as a precaution, but are not understood to have been injured.

Originally published: 17.21

Read: Teenage girl dies after being knocked down in Mayo

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Órla Ryan

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