‘Inspirational’ Una Crudden is laid to rest

By Ciara Quinn

AFTER the wintry sleet that had fallen earlier that morning, sun streamed through the windows of the Church of the Nativity for the Requiem Mass of inspirational ovarian cancer campaigner Una Crudden on Monday.

The 60-year-old mother-of-five lost her brave five-year battle with the disease last Thursday.

Hundreds of mourners, including Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon, packed into the Poleglass church, most wearing a teal coloured scarf, handkerchief or tie – the colour associated with ovarian cancer awareness.

The service was a fitting tribute to her unwavering strength of spirit and her determination to bring awareness of the symptoms connected to ovarian cancer to the fore – Target Ovarian Cancer leaflets had been incorporated into the Mass booklets as her campaign went on right up to the end.

As her coffin was brought into the church draped in a teal ribbon, a photo of Una, along with her beloved guitar, prayer book and a Target Ovarian Cancer poster. were brought to the side of the altar by her family.

The Mass was said by Parish Priest the Very Reverend Patrick Sheehan along with Fr Joe Rooney, Una’s brother-in-law Fr Jim Crudden and Fr Darach Mac Giolla Catháin.

Fr Sheehan spoke of how Una’s love of singing was reflected in the hymns she had personally chosen, along with the readings.

In his homily, Fr Sheehan spoke of how “St Peter will be wishing he was someone else at the gates when Una gets there as she will have some questions to be answered.”

“As a wife to Felix and mother to Lisa, Grainne, Oonagh, Philip and Nathan, a grandmother and friend, Una’s is too early an loss. She was always protective of her family, they came first.”

Una, who raised £50,000 for the Hospice through her tireless charity work and proceeds from her CD ‘Angel of Hope’, was described as “an ordinary person who did extraordinary good”.

“Whether it was caring for the underdog or disad-vantaged or bringing a lost soul home on Christmas Day, she was a sister of mercy, an angel of hope,” continued Fr Sheehan.

 

Encouraged

“This day five years ago she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Una spoke of how she didn’t drink, smoke, how she walked everywhere – so why? Why was this happening?

“Her cancer diagnosis revealed what an extraordinary person Una was and she encouraged everyone to do their bit raising awareness, inspiring people, sometimes hounding people for more training for GPs, for more awareness and we hope more comes to pass in her memory. Her voice was for all those suffering from cancer. She won numerous awards, Local Hero, Pride of Britain, she touched and inspired others. She was a woman who believed in the devotion of Christ.

“She sang The Magnificat at the grotto in Lourdes which to her was ‘better than being on the X Factor’, such was her devotion to her faith.

“She knew the dark abyss of bad days, she also knew how to get up again. What a fight she fought.”

In ‘A Word of Thanks’ addressed to her family, Una poignantly wrote: “Support one another, take care of each other and above all love each other. Never let the sun set on your anger, no matter what, kiss and make up. Life is too short for such petty behaviour. The gifts of the terminally ill come with crosses. The gift of prioritising and realising what is really important in life, like your spouse, your children, family and friends, everything else melts into oblivion.”

The Mass was followed by a private cremation service at Roselawn Crematorium.

Editorial, page 20

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