THE devastated family of a young man who died following an assault on New Year's Day have fulfilled his wish to "give others a chance of life" after they donated his organs.
Dale Creighton's white coffin was carried to the door through a guard of honour formed by scores of the young man's lifelong friends at his funeral in St Aidan's Church in Brookfield, Tallaght, west Dublin, yesterday morning.
A respectful silence fell over the mourners when his ashen-faced parents, Rhoda and Darren, his sister, Danielle, and girlfriend Rebecca, cast in uncontrollable grief, filed past the throngs of mourners.
The sight of the bereft mother drew tears from mourners who braved the biting wind and rain to pay their last respects to the 20-year-old yesterday.
Inside the church, people knelt in quiet prayer for Dale, whose tragic passing numbed the local community.
Parish priest Fr Jimmy McPartland simply told the congregation that Dale's life ended "after he was the victim of violence".
"He is gone from us at an age we did not expect. His life was full of promise and hope. He was a teenager who lived life and enjoyed life to the full," he said.
He acknowledged the devastation felt at Dale's death, commenting that he was a young man with so much life ahead of him.
"There is nothing anyone can say to try and make sense of his death. No one can take away the family's grief or pain or bring Dale back."
The "fashion fanatic" suffered catastrophic injuries when he was attacked at the footbridge at St Dominic's Road, Tallaght, in the early hours of New Year's Day.
He was taken to hospital and put on life support but failed to regain consciousness and died the next day.
At Dale's funeral, friends carried a procession of symbols of his life to the altar -- a tanning machine voucher, his laptop and phone, along with a hat which symbolised his "love of fashion as he always wore the latest gear".
A poignant letter, read on behalf of the family, also paid heartfelt tribute to his all-too-short life: "Dale's memory will not only live on with his family and friends. Because he was a beautiful, kind and generous young gentleman, a number of people have the chance of life, as Dale's wishes were to donate his organs."