Ariana Grande song played at Eilidh’s funeral

The funeral procession.
The funeral procession.

A “special” Ariana Grande song was played at Eilidh Macleod’s funeral in Barra this morning.

Fourteen year old Eilidh was tragically killed in a terror attack at the pop star’s Manchester concert on May 22.

Her friend Laura MacIntyre - a fellow pupil at Castlebay Community School on the island of Barra - was seriously injured in the bombing at the arena and remains in hospital.

The funeral began just before 11am at the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Castlebay.

Eilidh’s dad Roddy led the coffin with a rope, while extended family members took it in turns to carry the coffin at waist height.

A piper played as the procession walked up to the building.

Speakers were used so that the mass could be heard by mourners outside the nearby Castlebay Hall.

Parish priest Father John Paul MacKinnon spoke of the “gifted” and “beautiful” teenager before saying songs which were special to Eilidh would be played before the ceremony.

Mourners stood in silence with heads bowed outside the church and in the town square as ‘My Everything’ by Ariana Grande was played.

Eilidh’s great-uncle Donald Manford then gave a tribute.

He said: “In contrast to the hate that took her life, Eilidh’s life was and now stands as a testament forever of the world of love, innocence, goodness, kindness and faith.

“We will look after each other, we will chase our dreams, we will love one another.”

Fr MacKinnon added: “Eilidh had such a warm gentle nature, a heart full of love. Our loss is certainly heaven’s gain.

“The last thing in Eilidh’s life was happiness - she had spent a wonderful weekend away from the island, going shopping, going to nice cafes, going to the cinema and then going to her pop idol’s concert - Ariana.

“She was the happiest she had ever been and that’s what we hold onto today - the happiness of Eilidh’s life.

“Those memories of Eilidh will live on in all our hearts. Every year of her life was precious to us and we thank God for blessing us with her precious life.”

Prayers were also said for Laura as she continues to be treated in hospital.

A recording of Eilidh, a talented musician, piping Both Sides the Tweed was played as mourners left the church while a choir sang over it in Gaelic.

Her father led the long procession with a white rope attached to the casket. Mother Marion and Eilidh’s two sisters followed holding another rope.

Police officers saluted as the coffin was carried down to the town square, which overlooks the shore and Kisimul Castle.

Scottish Government ministers Deputy First Minister John Swinney, Humza Yousaf, minister for transport and islands, and Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan attended the funeral.

They each shook hands with Mr MacLeod and hugged Mrs MacLeod when the coffin reached the hearse.

Businesses on the island were closed as a mark of respect and to allow staff to attend the funeral.

A large procession followed the hearse to Vatersay, an island connected by causeway where she was originally from, for her burial.

Flower arrangements saying “Daughter” and “Eilidh” were in the vehicle.

The route passed the teen’s school, where the green and white flag of Barra flew at half-mast.

After the service, the building was opened for mourners to gather.