Coleraine gathers for a ‘very moving’ funeral service for the Queen
The atmosphere was somber in Coleraine today as people gathered to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II.
around 100 people watched her funeral on a big screen outside the town hall in Coleraine, which the queen visited in 2016.
People could watch the funeral preparations from 8 a.m., but the majority began gathering from 10 a.m., with the broadcast continuing throughout the day and due to end at 6 p.m.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens City Council, Ivor Wallace, said the event was “very touching and very emotional”.
“The queen may be dead but the monarchy is alive and well,” he said. “It’s great to see everyone here and to see how highly regarded the Queen has been over the years.”
Ian Donaghy received an MBE from Prince Charles in 2010 for his regenerative services to Coleraine and has also received Queen’s Citations.
“I thought it was a lovely service. It’s good to see so many people showing up. I guess, citizens from all over the country – in fact, from all over the world when you watch the pictures on TV” , did he declare.
“It’s fine to come out in groups, in crowds, to celebrate – if ‘celebrating’ is the right word for a funeral, but you know what I mean – his reign and to witness this historic event.”
On the Queen’s passing, he said: ‘I guess it meant quite a bit. It’s pretty fitting that it’s outside City Hall here, where she went in 2016.
“I met her inside the town hall during her visit. Yes, it is the passing of an era. Although I think King Charles will also do a great job.
Julienne Elliott, a council worker from Coleraine, said: ‘I thought it was a very emotional service and I thought it was a very family [orientated] service.
“I was just telling someone else that this actually reminds me of the normal family services we would have here.”
She continued, “I guess it was good to be here today and mark a moment in history by also being somewhere with other people.
“Because Coleraine is my hometown, I thought it was the best place to come. It was good to see a big crowd here today.
“I guess it’s important that we mark the Queen and her reign. It was a very influential reign, the likes of which we will never see again. I think the Queen was a remarkable woman and an inspiration to women around the world.
David McCauley, a former Navy man, said he was “here to show my respect to my former boss”.
“You know, someone I served for 30 years,” he added. “But she served our country for 70 years. So I think it is right that we come to pay our respects on this day.
Marc Taylor is a preacher who runs a charity called Hope2Families and said he wanted to attend Coleraine’s show to ‘be part of the momentous occasion’.
“We probably won’t see it again – I won’t see it again anyway, in my lifetime,” he said. “I also wanted to honor a queen who served God faithfully and loved the Lord with all her heart. That’s why I’m here.”
He thought the funeral was “moving, incredible, a sight that will live long in the memory of all who saw it. Huge”.
Sam Nicholls is an American tourist who has been in Northern Ireland for a week.
He said he learned a lot about the history of Ireland and Northern Ireland over the past seven days.
“To experience a historic moment for the Church of England and for England and all that…To experience it here was quite surreal,” Sam said.
PUP councilor Russell Watton said: ‘I would just like to say it’s a sad day for everyone and I’m happy for the crowds that have turned out in town.
“At least the weather stayed good. We buried the queen of the people – and she was. I wish the best to King Charles; I think he prepared for it. May God save the king.”
The Queen made several visits to Coleraine during her reign.
The first of these took place a month after her coronation in 1953 and the last in 2016, when she took a steam train through Coleraine and Bellarena, echoing her Coronation tour.