Tears for Barrie as first of five funerals takes place

SCORES of family and friends paid tribute to teenager Barrie Mackay, who was one of the five young people killed in the Battle Road crash.

Around 100 mourners attended his funeral at St Thomas of Canterbury Roman Catholic Church in Magdalen Road.

The 15-year-old's funeral is the first of five to be held after the Battle Road tragedy, which killed Barrie's four other friends.

The words "Son" and "Baz", as Barrie was affectionately known, were spelled out in flowers and displayed on the hearse.

The teenager's coffin, draped with the Scottish national blue and white flag, the Saltire, was carried in to the church to the sound of a single piper.

Then the Hastings College student's coffin was laid before the altar to John Lennon's song "Imagine".

The congregation prayed and reflected on fond memories of Barrie before singing the hymn "The Lord's my Shepherd".

A Gospel reading from St Luke was then read.

Choking back tears, relatives and friends read tributes and poems about Barrie, who was described as a "bright, liveable and attentive" boy.

Father Chris Bergin, who conducted the service, said Barrie was remembered as a young man who always had a "permanent, cheeky smile" on his face.

He added the grief felt by Barrie's family and friends and the wider community was "harder to bear" as the Hollington tragedy had taken five teenagers' lives.

Fr Bergen said there had been a "great deal of sympathy" felt by the town over Barrie and his friends' deaths.

Mourners then stood to sing the hymn "Make me a Channel of your Peace".

Barrie's coffin was carried out by pallbearers as the congregation stood in silent tribute. Some of the teenager's friends wept as his coffin left.

Whitney Houston's track "I will Always Love You" was played as mourners emptied the church.

Barrie is survived by his mother Kathleen, his father Dean, grandmother Jean and step-grandfather John, as well as his five brothers and sisters.