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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Heartbreak as crash mum brought to funeral of son (4) by ambulance

Eoghan MacConnell

Published 21/04/2014 | 16:47

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Gillian Treacy, the injured mother of her late son Ciaran, attending his funeral at St Michael's Church, Portarlington, Co Laois. Photograph: James Flynn/APX
Gillian Treacy, the injured mother of her late son Ciaran, attending his funeral at St Michael's Church, Portarlington, Co Laois. Photograph: James Flynn/APX
The remains of the late Ciaran Treacy being removed from St. Michael's Church, Portarlington, Co Laois. Photograph: James Flynn/APX
The remains of the late Ciaran Treacy being removed from St. Michael's Church, Portarlington, Co Laois. Photograph: James Flynn/APX
The remains of the late Ciaran Treacy being removed from St Michael's Church, Portarlington, Co Laois. Photograph: James Flynn/APX
The remains of the late Ciaran Treacy being removed from St Michael's Church, Portarlington, Co Laois. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

THERE were heartwrenching scenes as an injured mother was brought by ambulance to the funeral mass of her youngest son.

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Ciaran Treacy (4) died following a two-car crash near his home in Portarlington, Co Laois, on Thursday. It took an hour to cut his seriously injured mother Gillian from the car, and his brother Sean was also hurt in the collision.

Ciaran's hometown of Portarlington, Co Laois, came to a standstill for his funeral at St Michael's Church yesterday with many mourners listening to the service from the church grounds as the crowd exceeded the church's capacity.

On the day of the accident, Fr Tom Dooley recalled “Ciaran and his brother Sean spent the day with their grandparents in Stradbally walking and playing in the woods.”

“The death of a child in any circumstances is an occasion of great sorrow,” he said.

“A death that is the result of an accident simply beggars our understanding.”

Guards of honour were provided by staff at a local creche and staff at the shop run by Ciaran's parents Ronan and Gillian. 

An ambulance brought Gillian to the church ahead of the service. She was accommodated in a specially partitioned area in front of the church pews.

Among the gifts chosen by Ciaran's brother Sean and his young cousins were a pair of headphones, as he would always listen to 'Let it Go' from the animated film Frozen before bedtime.

His cousin Isabel brought a toy Olaf, a character from the movie. Another cousin Megan brought Ciaran's new Peppa Pig bag that he used when going to creche while a can of Lynx deodorant, pronounce “Winx” by Ciaran, was brought by his cousin Conor.

“He was an angel and a gift from heaven and those of us who were privileged to know him will never forget his magical imagination, his sharp wit, his child-like honesty and his sometimes dogged determination,” said Ciaran's uncle Colm Treacy.

“There is nothing more heartbreaking than the death of a child. It is unfair that Ciaran was taken away from us after only four short years.

“He brought a smile and joy to everybody that met him and he was his own man and he was wise beyond his four short years. 

“Gillian and Ronan were so blessed to have such a wonderful child in their lives and they made no bones about showing that love and there was nothing that they wouldn't do for him. Testament to this is every moment he spent with his family on this earth was filled with love and happiness.”

Mr Treacy paid special tribute to Ciaran's adoring grandparents, Marie, Vera, Noel and Pat.

“There is no easy way for us to say goodbye. We will never find a reason why such a smart, cheerful and beautiful child was taken away from us at the age of four. Instead we will hope to focus on how happy he made us when he was in our lives,” he said.

He thanked the first attenders and passersby who helped at the accident scene. Mr Treacy also thanked the wider community and paid tribute to the fire brigade, gardai, paramedics and all the medical staff at the Midland Regional Hospitals in Portlaoise and Tullamore.

'Let it Go' was played as Ciaran's white coffin was brought out for his final journey to St Michael's Cemetery. His mother Gillian was wheeled out on a hospital gurney immediately behind the coffin and watched as he was placed in the hearse.

Ciaran is survived by his parents Gillian and Ronan, brother Sean, sister Caoimhe and grandparents Pat and Vera Treacy, Noel and Marie Ryan.

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