A heartbroken mum whose entire family were wiped out in a horror car accident was forced to pray over their bodies at the side of the road.
Geraldine Mullan managed to escape from the wrecked vehicle after it plunged into a river during stormy weather on Thursday night.
The 45-year-old quickly raised the alarm but husband John, 49, and the couple’s two children Tomas, 14, and Amelia, six, could not be saved.
Mrs Mullan, a healthcare worker, was joined by a priest at the scene of the tragedy in County Donegal, the Republic of Ireland.
Father John Farren prayed with the heartbroken survivor and said she had been left “distraught” by the loss of her beloved family.
He said: “Her whole family had been wiped out in one go. She was totally distraught.
“She came into the tent and that was the first time she had seen her family. It was a stressful and emotional moment for her.
“I gave her time to get her wits about her then we said prayers and I anointed the three bodies. She made a sign of the cross on all three of them.”
The family had been travelling back home from an evening out in Londonderry when their car skidded off the road and plunged into Lough Foyle at Quigley’s Point.
Mr Mullan ran a popular garden centre in Moville and his wife is a nurse manager in the cancer unit in Letterkenny General Hospital, Fr Farren added.
The priest said it was wet and windy when he arrived at the scene of the tragedy shortly before midnight. It was high tide and the waves were white-tipped.
He said: “It was an awful night, the visibility was poor, it was windy and raining, the road was slippery and had recently been resurfaced.
“The car went down that embankment, which was not very long, and apparently it overturned into the water.
“The mother managed to free herself and got the children out but the father was trapped inside.
“The children may have been knocked unconscious.”
He said Mr Mullan was well-known in the local area as a lot of people would buy their flowers and plants from him.
The victims were taken to Letterkenny University Hospital mortuary where post-mortem examinations will be held.