23 December 2014, The Tablet

Tartaglia meets woman three times bereaved by bin lorry crash

The Archbishop of Glasgow has met with a woman whose daughter and parents were killed in the bin lorry tragedy in the city.

Today Archbishop Philip Tartaglia held a memorial Mass for the victims at St Andrew’s Cathedral and during his homily he spoke of meeting Jacqueline McQuade, whose daughter Erin and parents Jack and Lorraine Sweeney were killed in the incident on Monday. Ms McQuade had been accompanying her daughter and parents on a shopping trip when the tragedy occurred. 

Stephenie Tait, a teacher at St Philomena’s Catholic Primary School in the city, Jacqueline Morton, and Gillian Ewing, were also killed when a council truck crashed in Glasgow’s George Square.  

Archbishop Tartaglia said in his homily: ”On the evening of the tragedy, I was privileged to be permitted to spend some time with one of the families who had been cruelly devastated by the incident. I was able to witness and share the grief and sadness of a mother and of a father for their daughter, and of two daughters for their mother and father.

"The distressed woman to whom I was speaking had seen her daughter and her own parents killed almost right in front of her. Can you imagine the horror?

"I tried to console them and comfort them. We spoke and we cried and we were silent before the abyss of their loss and the random meaninglessness of what had happened. They openly spoke of their faith, but their faith was sorely tried, and I commended them silently to God that the Lord would find the way to bring them comfort.”

Ten people were were also injured when the lorry veered out of control outside the Gallery of Modern Art at about 2.30pm on Monday. 

Archbishop Tartaglia recalled in his homily that the incident in George Square had taken place almost a year after the Clutha disaster when 10 people died after a police helicopter crashed into a pub.

"Just as we were preparing for Christmas, our city of Glasgow is in mourning again,” he said. 

Above: Archbishop Philip Tartaglia speaks during Mass after being named apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh at St Mary's Cathedral in Scotland Feb. 28. Photo: CNS photo/David Moir, Reuters

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