Friends pay tribute to Shannon and Danielle Kiriau at the funeral service for the siblings in Mosgiel yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
The laughter at an upbeat service gave way to grief as North
Taieri siblings Danielle and Shannon Kiriau were farewelled
yesterday with a stirring haka.
Close friends, with purple and green bandanas hanging from
their pockets or around their necks, consoled each other as
tears flowed at the end of the service.
More than 500 mourners were at Campbell and Sons Chapel, in
Mosgiel, yesterday. Police were required to control traffic
in Gordon Rd after the service.
Dozens paid tribute to Danielle (17) and Shannon (22), who
died when the Honda Integra car in which they were passengers
went out of control and crashed on Sunday morning.
The Rev Tau BenUnu, a relative of the siblings, said everyone
was in ''shock'' and searching for answers following their
He acknowledged the pair's Cook Island heritage and hymns
were sung in Cook Island Maori.
The pair's older brother, Shane, gave the eulogy.
''These guys won't be forgotten and will be loved forever,''
Danielle and Shannon had 11 brothers and sisters and while
the ''big family'' was a ''bit messy'' it was very close.
The service was studded with moments of laughter and many
speakers kept the mood light as they recounted their personal
recollections of the siblings' ''mischief''. However, the
reality of their loss set in when the lights were dimmed and
a photographic montage of images of the siblings was
The outpouring of grief continued as the pair's caskets were
carried out by family and friends acting as pallbearers.
The pair were buried at Allanton Cemetery in a private