THE grief-stricken mother of Kinallen teenager Danielle Houston, killed in a road accident last week, has paid tribute to the daughter who was her 'best mate' and who 'stood alongside her against the world.'
Danielle, of Skeagh Road, lost her life when her Renault Clio left the road close to the Katesbridge Road/Enagh Road junction last Wednesday evening, July 1; she had celebrated her birthday just 11 days earlier, on June 20.
Her best friend, Claire Carmichael, and Gillian Parks, the 19 year-old's friend and employer, joined Danielle's mum, Michelle, in paying tribute to an amazing girl whose smile lit up a thousand rooms, the best friend anyone could ask for and a beautiful young woman who was like a sister.
Together they remembered a fun-loving young woman, known affectionately as 'Doodle', with a larger than life personality. The teenager's distraught mum, who spent last Wednesday shopping with her daughter, said she just couldn't believe her precious child was gone; she was still waiting for her to come home and tell her about her night.
"I am waiting to be woken," she said. "I wish I could trade places with you, Danielle. Mummy's hurt will never end and I promise you won't be forgotten; I won't allow it." She added, "Sleep tight angel."
Best friend Claire, who grew up alongside Danielle for 15 years, described her as the sister she never had; life would be empty without her.
"I will love her forever and always," she said. "Best friends forever."
Danielle, a former Dromore High School pupil who went on to study beauty therapy at Lisburn College and whose stated ambition was to be a make-up artist, worked for Gillian Parks at her Dromara hairdressing salon.
Their working relationship quickly became a firm friendship, said Gillian.
She added, "The salon will never feel the same again without her; every time I look at the reception desk I can picture her with her big smile and she will always be in my heart and always remembered."
In accordance with Danielle's own wishes her funeral yesterday (Monday) took place at Roselawn Crematorium and mourners were asked to wear some pink - her favourite colour - or white in their clothing.