Nilly Mooney’s loveable, infectious spirit remembered
NILLY Mooney has been remembered as a cheeky, confident and outgoing girl with deadly dance moves whose loveable spirit was infectious to those around her.
The 15-year-old daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunty, niece, cousin, teammate and friend was the fifth of Tania Rudall's eight children.
"My baby girl, I love you so much," Ms Rudall said through tears as she stood by her daughter's casket, steadied by family around her.
Nilly's older sister Ebony Mooney presented the eulogy.
"As you can guess, she learned to be her own person young," Miss Mooney said.
"As a toddler, she loved to banter with our Granny Olive who would tease her and laugh about Nilly loving the boy next door until Nilly would kick the locks off her wheely chair and try and push her around. That would only make Gran's laugh escalate from her back to her shoulders and her belly."
Miss Mooney said Nilly was a natural leader, "fearless in football and in life".
"You couldn't ignore her if she entered the room," she said. "She was so full of life and just goofy … she was brave, she stood up and spoke on behalf of us when the rest of us couldn't."
Nilly was tragically killed in an alleged hit and run in Beaconsfield in the early hours of March 1.
More than 600 people gathered for the memorial service, spilling out of the church, into the foyer and outside.
Many wore bright colours and tropical flowers while others wore team jerseys including her North Devil's and Mackay Cutter's Academy teammates in her honour.
And those teammates joined her coaches on stage to present Nilly with her 2020 season football jerseys.
Northern Suburbs Junior Devils under 17s coach Joel Lauga said Nilly was fearless and loud.
"She loved to chat and it was very, very hard to get Nilly to be quiet," Mr Lauga said.
And Mackay North State High School teacher as well as Mackay Cutter's Academy coach Matt Sanders said Nilly could break a room into laughter and was adamant she should be on the field for every football game.
"Nilly would never let anything stand in her way … it's comforting to know that she'll be looking down on us whether it be training or playing the game or screaming her lungs out as only Nilly could do," he said.
Aunty Jo-Anne Rudall said there was no language with the words to express the impact Nilly made to the lives of those around her.
"In my heart I truly believe that Nilly was given to all of us to teach us that life was meant for living, that life is what you make it … so take it with you, do what she does, be fearless, get out there, strive to succeed, do the best you can, be who you are, look out for each other; Nilly, that's your gift to us and we're going to take it."