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Monday, 20 May, 2002, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
Tributes to 'loving grandmother'
The coffin arrives at the church
Many mourners came from Scotland and Ireland
Tributes have been paid at the funeral of an 80 year old who died after the Potters Bar rail crash.

Hundreds of mourners attended the requiem mass of Agnes Quinlivan at Our Lady of Assumption Church, in the town where the derailment ten days ago claimed seven lives.

The great-grandmother came to Britain from Ireland at the age of 16 and the service had a strong Celtic flavour.

She had lived in South Mimms, near Potters Bar, for 65 years and Father Bill Wilby paid tribute to her popularity and community work as a nurse.
Agnes Quinlivan
Mrs Quinlivan was a popular community figure

Mrs Quinlivan died at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north London, after being struck by debris falling from the railway bridge which was hit by the train.

She was walking back from the church when the accident happened.

A Scottish piper led the funeral cortege into the church, playing a selection of Irish and Scottish tunes and Amazing Grace.

Among the congregation in the packed church was Chief Superintendent Alison Roome-Gifford, of Hertfordshire Police, who was crash scene commander.

There were many relatives who made the journey from Ireland and Scotland to attend the ceremony.

The world is a better place for her having lived in it

Fr Bill Wilby

Fr Wilby said: "We thank Almighty God for the wonderful example dear Agnes has given us ... All those people that she has visited as a district nurse.

"We also thank Almighty God for the tremendous inspiration Agnes was to so many social activities in South Mimms and also in and around Potters Bar."

The grandmother of eight joined the British Red Cross in 1958 and became a district nurse in 1976.

Family friend Denis O'Keeffe, who gave a eulogy, told how she worked hard helping at social events in the parish.

He said: "It was a delight to work with Agnes.

"This sudden tragedy will be felt for a long time but hopefully our happy memories will ease the pain. Agnes, we will miss you... May you rest in peace."

Fr Wilby added: "The world is a better place for her having lived in it."

He also remembered the other victims of the train disaster and their families.

Following the service, there was a private burial in South Mimms attended by members of Mrs Quinlivan's family.


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20 May 02 | UK Politics
20 May 02 | England
18 May 02 | England
14 May 02 | England
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