Eilidh MacLeod was described as a “happy girl who packed a lot into her 14 years” at her funeral
Family and friends of Eilidh MacLeod gathered on Barra in the Outer Hebrides two weeks after the tragedy at an Ariana Grande concert which killed 22 people.
Speaking at the funeral at the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Castlebay, parish priest Fr John Paul MacKinnon said: “Eilidh packed a lot into her 14 years. Fourteen happy years.
“That’s so important for us to remember. Eilidh was a happy girl, she had 14 happy years and in the last few days of her life she was the happiest you could ever imagine.
“The last thing in Eilidh’s life was happiness. She had spent a wonderful weekend away from the island, going shopping, going to nice cafes, going to the cinema and then going to her pop idol’s concert.
Eilidh was laid to rest today at the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Castlebay
Eilidh had such a warm gentle nature, a heart full of love. Our loss is certainly heaven’s gain.
Fr John Paul MacKinnon, Priest
“She was the happiest she had ever been and that’s what we hold on to today – the happiness of Eilidh’s life. Eilidh had such a warm gentle nature, a heart full of love. Our loss is certainly heaven’s gain.
“Those memories of Eilidh will live on in all our hearts.”
Eilidh’s friend, Laura MacIntyre, 15, was among dozens injured, and Father MacKinnon also asked people to think of her and all the others affected by the attack. Eilidh’s great-uncle Donald Manford then gave a tribute.
He said: “In contrast to the hate that took her life, Eilidh’s life was and now stands as a testament forever of the world of love, innocence, goodness, kindness and faith. We will look after each other, we will chase our dreams, we will love one another.”
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A recording of Eilidh, a talented musician with the Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band, piping Both Sides the Tweed was played as mourners left the church while a choir sang over it in Gaelic. Her father Roddy led the procession with a white pallbearer’s cord attached to the casket. Her mother Marion and two sisters followed holding one another.
Police officers saluted as the coffin was carried down to the town square.
Later, the hearse carried Eilidh’s body from the church to Vatersay for burial. The island is connected by a causeway and is where the family is originally from.
A Priest described Eilidh as a warm gentle nature with a heart full of love
The teenager and her friend Laura, both from the Castlebay Community School in Barra, had travelled to Manchester for the concert with members of their family.
Around 1,000 mourners stood in silence with heads bowed outside the church and in the town square as My Everything by Ariana Grande was played.
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Sorrell Leczkowski, a 14-year-old schoolgirl from Leeds
A floral tribute, left, was sent to the island from Ian Hopkins, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, and Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.
A message on the wreath read: “We may not have known you, but you will forever be in the hearts and thoughts of all at Greater Manchester Police and the people of Manchester.”