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Thursday 23 January 2020

Road victim Cian (6) 'gave greatest gift of all' as organs save four lives

Mourners, including Cian’s parents, follow his coffin adorned with messages from family and friends
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

The young Dublin boy who was killed by a van in Shankill last week saved the lives of four other people through organ donation, his heartbroken family revealed.

Cian Marren (6), from Ballycullen, died on Sunday surrounded by his family in Temple Street Children's Hospital.

He was knocked down two days earlier at a pedestrian crossing on the Shanganagh Road, close to where he was visiting his grandmother.

The young boy's proud father told of how Cian "gave the greatest gift of all" by saving the lives of four people on Sunday evening.

Liam Marren told mourners who gathered at the funeral of the much-loved child; "In his final act on earth, Cian gave the greatest gift of all, the gift of life, when his organs were donated to save the lives of four people on Sunday evening.

"Words cannot describe how much we miss and love you. We know you're in heaven with the angels and we hope that you will always be watching over us.

Cian Marren
Cian Marren

"We know we will meet you again, our adorable son."

St Anne's Church in Bohernabreena was full to capacity yesterday as Cian's white coffin was carried to the altar for his funeral.

Many of those who had come to pay their respects had to wait outside in the church grounds.


The family of the sports-mad schoolboy who attended Gaelscoil Chnoc Liamhna had asked all of his friends to wear bright clothes for the farewell, which they wanted to be a celebration of Cian's life.

The small white coffin bore messages from his friends, written in colourful marker pen.

Cian's mother, Lisa, described the symbols brought up to the altar to represent his life.

His sister, Aine, carried his hurley, with which he played at the local St Anne's GAA Club.

Other sister Ciara carried their dog's lead, while the book Little Einstein was Cian's favourite which was read to him by his grandmother on his first stay at her house.

His best friend brought Cian's last Lego creation, and a Thomas The Tank Engine toy was another symbol, along with his favourite teddy, his taekwondo belt and water pistol.

Cian's father, Liam, kissed his coffin and looked back to his wife and daughters as he walked to the altar to share with mourners the family's memories of his son.

He thanked the paramedics and emergency crews who had battled to save him, and the staff of Temple Street Hospital.

"Your work allowed us our precious 48 hours to be with Cian, to hold him and to say our goodbyes. For this, we will be eternally grateful," said Mr Marren.

"Cian was our angel and our hero. We had six fantastic years with him, filled with love, fun and an abundance of happy memories.

"Every evening when I came home from work, I was greeted with Cian running down the hall, a big jump and an embrace as he called out, 'Daddy'. I always replied, 'Buddy'. It was our daily ritual and something I am already missing so, so much."

Mr Marren also told how Cian would sneak into his parents' bed, taking his place beside his mum, giving her kisses and hugs, and how he loved adventure, climbing, hurling, football, taekwondo, trucks, trains and building with Lego.


"When you asked Cian what he would want to do when he grew up, he had two answers," he said. "First, 'I want to be a daddy like you' and the second, 'I want to be an inventor'.'"

Mr Marrenspoke of his son's mischievous side too - how Cian loved getting up on the roof of the car and of how, during one sunny day, he put sun cream on the family's dog, Shadow.

After the Requiem Mass, Cian's family walked behind the hearse as the coffin was taken to the nearby Bohernabreena Cemetery for burial.

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