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Last Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008, 14:26 GMT
Tribute to a 'wonderful' family
order of service
The order of service for the Requiem Mass had a family picture
A father paid tribute to his "wonderful wife and children" at their funeral after they were killed in a crash.

Nurse Ann Copeland, 45, from Johnshaven, and her daughters Ciara, seven, and Niamh, 10, died in the A92 crash last Wednesday.

Barry Copeland said: "No words can convey the despair and sadness that their deaths have brought me."

Hundreds attended the requiem mass at St Margaret's Roman Catholic Church in Montrose on Friday morning.

Mr Copeland paid tribute to his wife, who he described as his "soul mate".

The presence of Niamh, Ann and Ciara touched the souls and lit up the lives of so many people
Barry Copeland

Standing before the coffins he spoke of the wonderful family life he had and his "beautiful daughters".

Mr Copeland told mourners: "Thank you all for coming today to say farewell to my wonderful wife and children.

"If they are up there watching us Ann would be stunned by anything involving me starting on time and the children would be asking each other 'what is he dressed like that for'?"

'So happy'

After describing his despair and sadness, he added: "However neither can words describe the immense pride I feel in knowing that the presence of Niamh, Ann and Ciara touched the souls and lit up the lives of so many people."

Mr Copeland said he could not bring himself to wear a black tie so was wearing his wedding tie instead.

thank you note
Barry Copeland thanked people for making his family so happy

He said: "It somehow seems so much more appropriate for I remember my wedding day as being the happiest of my life.

"Niamh and Ciara may only have had short lives but they transformed me. I never realised it was possible to get such joy from looking after somebody else."

A family picture appeared on the order of service which was given to mourners.

Also, Mr Copeland signed a typed letter which read: "Thank you to you all for making my beautiful wife and daughters' lives so happy."

The crash happened on a double bend, described locally as an accident blackspot.

Police said an oil spillage on the road was believed to have played a significant factor in the accident.

Grampian Police said they believed the source of the spillage had been traced, which BBC Scotland understands was an industrial crane. A report will go to the procurator fiscal.

Death crash 'spill source' traced
17 Jan 08 |  North East/N Isles
Police hold triple death checks
16 Jan 08 |  North East/N Isles
Spillage theory in family crash
10 Jan 08 |  North East/N Isles
Woman and daughters die in crash
09 Jan 08 |  North East/N Isles

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