Thursday 22 August 2019

'Oisín will always be seven years old...he was robbed of so much'

Shane O’Driscoll (right) carries the coffin of his son Oisín (7) in Bray, Co Wicklow Picture: Caroline Quinn
Shane O’Driscoll (right) carries the coffin of his son Oisín (7) in Bray, Co Wicklow Picture: Caroline Quinn

Alan O'Keeffe

Brave father Shane O'Driscoll fought back tears as he spoke movingly at the funeral of his seven-year-old son Oisín.

He said his son was a sensitive little boy who was confident and "wise beyond his years".

The Church of the Holy Redeemer in Bray, Co Wicklow, was full to capacity for the Requiem Mass for Oisín, who died with his mother in an apparent murder-suicide at their home in west London.

The bodies of Sinead Higgins (37), a native of Mayo, and her son were found in their home after Mr O'Driscoll raised the alarm when Oisín did not turn up for school. The boy's parents were no longer in a relationship.

Oisín's white casket was placed before the altar yesterday. His London-based father is from Bray and had been an altar boy at the church as a schoolboy.

Mr O'Driscoll, speaking on the altar, told the congregation Oisín loved his mother "despite her troubles".

"Oisín touched so many hearts in his short life. He had a huge heart. He was a very sensitive little boy who was wise beyond his years."

He read warm tributes to Oisín from his teacher and then spoke of his own special relationship with his son.

Oisín O'Driscoll
Oisín O'Driscoll

"Oisín and I had a very special bond that will now have to move to a different level. He will always be seven years old and will be spared the hardship and heartache involved in growing up but he has also been robbed of all the experience he would have had," he said.

He was always fond of his iPad and the Minecraft game and "anything to do with Lego or Star Wars".

Like a lot of boys his age, Oisín was "fiercely competitive" and would give his father a running commentary about who was the tallest in the class.

"He never made it past being third tallest but he was also quite proud he had one of the biggest heads in his class," Mr O'Driscoll said as the congregation chuckled gently. Oisín was passionate about sport and his father spoke of how they would swim together. He remembered days when he would swim beside his son in the pool and tell him to "keep focused".

The weeping father spoke of Oisín's "huge appetite" and how he loved ham sandwiches.

Oisín was a big music fan and had his own playlist. He had a great ability to remember the words of songs and father and son would often discuss their meanings.

His son "touched so many hearts in his short life," he said. He would miss their chats, their morning chats and their bedtime chats.

"Sleep well, young man," he concluded and tears flowed freely in the church.

Symbols of Oisín's life were brought to the altar at the beginning of Mass, including Lego, earphones and his swimming goggles.

Monsignor Enda Lloyd, parish priest, spoke of candles lighting on the altar and how one of the candles represented Oisín's "young and vivacious" life.

He described how the young soccer fan had been "totally full of life". Another candle was his baptism candle which would have been used in the future at his First Holy Communion.

At his burial in Kilternan Cemetery, a member of Murphys undertakers released a white dove at Oisín's graveside.

Irish Independent

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