"HEAVEN can only be a better place with Cian and no doubt he will entertain with his tricks."
These words were written by Fr Kieran O'Brien in an attempt to console the devastated family of 19-year-old drowning victim Cian O'Donoghue who tragically lost his life in the waters of Lough Leane.
News of the swimming accident has rocked Killarney and east Kerry and came on one of the hottest days of an unprecedented heatwave.
Cian had been an entertainer in life and over 1,000 mourners who packed into St Mary's Cathedral on Tuesday for his Requiem Mass heard how the popular art student had lived for every moment of his short life.
"He entertained at every gathering with his card tricks and he had the tools of his trade, his top hat and cane to go with it - like any magician he never revealed his secrets to anyone or how he learnt them," Fr O'Brien remarked during a personal and emotive homily.
"He has left his fingerprint in this world by his drawings and writings and his work will always be cherished," the cleric added.
A solemn occasion, it was tinged with overwhelming sadness as Cian's friends brought gifts to the altar epitomising his life - his art sketch pad, his Kindle, his magic books, amongst others.
Later in the service, siblings Keith and Klara recalled a younger brother who was laid back, honest and loyal.
"He was mischievous but never malicious, always kind, I can never remember a time when he raised his voice to me," Keith remarked. Their words turned to tears and many in the congregation shed a tear too.
Son of Billy and Joanie, Gortahoosh, Glenflesk, Cian was later laid to rest at Aghadoe Cemetery.