UK

Funerals Held For Glasgow Bin Lorry Crash Victims Erin McQuade & Jack & Lorraine Sweeney

03/01/2015 13:26 GMT | Updated 03/01/2015 13:59 GMT

A funeral service for three members of the same family who were killed in the Glasgow bin lorry crash has heard how their loved ones have suffered "tragedy on tragedy and sadness on sadness".

Up to 1,000 mourners joined together to pay a final tribute to teenager Erin McQuade and her grandparents Jack Sweeney, 68, and Lorraine Sweeney, 69.

The three, all from Dumbarton, were out on a Christmas shopping trip when an out-of-control refuse vehicle ploughed into pedestrians in Glasgow city centre three days before Christmas.

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Glasgow Crash Funeral

Jacqueline McQuade is thought to have gone to withdraw money from a cash machine when her 18-year old daughter and parents, all from Dumbarton, were fatally injured.

Some 700 people packed in to St Patrick's RC Church in Dumbarton, where the family live, for a joint requiem mass for the teenager and her grandparents, with hundreds more mourners standing outside.

Erin's brothers Liam, 15, and Aiden, 14, and little sister Niamh, six, were all at the service, with their mother Jacqueline, 43, and their father Matthew, 49.

Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson, Scottish Justice Secretary Michael Matheson and Jackie Baillie, the Labour MSP for Dumbarton, were also among the mourners.

Six people were killed and 10 more injured after the lorry lost control in the city's Queen Street and George Square on Monday December 22.

The private church service was led by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, the Archbishop of Glasgow, who previously told a memorial mass that he wept with the woman who saw her teenage daughter and both parents die almost in front of her.

Today he told how the accident had piled "tragedy on tragedy and sadness on sadness" on the family

Archbishop Tartaglia said Jack and Lorraine had been "responsible for creating a loving family who were very close to each other" as he told mourners: "Their last day on this earth said it all. Jack and Lorraine, Jacqueline and Erin went on a Christmas shopping trip. Three generations of the same loving family.

"They died as they lived - together. It is fitting that they should share the same funeral Mass. They will be buried in the same grave."

Archbishop Tartaglia said: "Jack and Lorraine's daughters, Jacqueline and Yvonne are also Erin's heart-broken mum and sorrowing aunt. This is a family devastated by the tragic deaths all at once of three much-loved members.

"They were struck down in front of Jacqueline's eyes. A festive and happy Christmas shopping excursion to Glasgow had become the worst of nightmares. What happened was random, cruel and meaningless."

He told how Jack and Lorraine Sweeney had been "very happily married" for more than 45 years and described Miss McQuade, a Glasgow University student, as a "light-hearted, caring, family-loving girl"

He said: "Just as her life was opening up and she was spreading her wings, cruel fate took her away."

The archbishop added the 18-year-old had been "very dear to her young brothers and sister who have tried to be so brave over these days, and so supportive to their mum and dad, but are deeply saddened and are missing her sorely".

He said the teenager's parents had been "so deeply saddened by Erin's death" and said that they would "always feel the searing pain of her loss".

Archbishop Tartaglia described the crash as "a heart-breaking tragedy".

He told mourners: "Erin died in the tragic incident which took place at George Square in the centre of Glasgow on the afternoon of Monday December 22 2014.

"To pile tragedy on tragedy, and sadness on sadness, Erin's grandparents, Jack and Lorraine Sweeney, died in that same tragic incident."

The service, which included readings from family members Elizabeth McQuade and Hazel McQuade, began with the hymn I Watch the Sunrise.

On the back of the order of service a message from the family said: "The family would like to thank you for your presence here today.

"They would like to express their gratitude for the love, sympathy and support shown to them at this sad time."

After the service ended, the family members carried the three coffins to three hearses waiting outside the church.

Many of the mourners were crying as they left, with some hugging each other in an attempt to provide comfort.

Primary teacher Stephenie Tait, 29, and tax worker Jacqueline Morton, 51, both from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh, were also killed when the council lorry mounted the pavement before crashing into the side of the Millennium Hotel.

Three patients remain in two Glasgow hospitals following the crash.

A 14-year-old girl and a 64-year-old woman are in stable conditions at the Royal Infirmary. A 57-year-old man - thought to be the driver - is in a stable condition at the Western Infirmary.

Investigations into the crash are continuing.