Thursday 18 January 2018

Tragic Adam's talent shines at funeral

Nicola Anderson

THE brave and empowering lyrics of a song penned by a talented young rock musician gave courage to his parents yesterday at his funeral.

Adam Keenan Byrne (14) died after falling into the River Liffey near his home in Clane, Co Kildare, last Saturday, while playing on a rope swing with friends.

Stunned locals yesterday spoke of a keen guitarist who was "born with songs in his mouth" and whose talents had been nurtured by his mother, Sandra -- a "poetic" woman who had spotted her son's musical gift.

They remembered how his favourite pieces to play were 'Stairway to Heaven' and 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door'.

Adam had dreamed of becoming an internet sensation with his rendition of 'Stairway to Heaven' recorded just days before he died.

Since then, friends have been circulating an internet video of the recording in the hope of achieving his ambition of getting 1,000 hits on YouTube.

However, it was the performance of a song written by Adam himself that brought the most emotional response at the funeral yesterday.

Maria Butterly -- Adam's guitar teacher from the Clane Academy of Music -- sang his song 'You Will Never Break Him'.


It contained the lyrics: "You can kill the spirit but you can never kill the heart. You will never break him, he is a strong mighty man."

There was tumultuous applause in the church as his parents, Sandra and Keith, embraced her in gratitude.

The streets of the small town were lined yesterday with Adam's schoolmates from nearby Scoil Mhuire Community School, who formed a guard of honour as the funeral cortege made its way to the church.

The coffin was followed closely by Adam's parents, brother Daniel, sister Megan, his grandmothers, great-grandmother and extended family and friends. Parish priest Fr Paul O'Boyle urged mourners to remember Adam's gifts and talents and "the light he brought into so many lives".

Recalling the young man's passion for music and his happy, outgoing and friendly personality, he said: "His face would light up any room. He was just a lovely child."

He warned that the young in the community would need "holding and a lot of listening" while "many tears will be shed" in the time to come as they struggle to cope with Adam's death.

Fr O'Boyle said he was sure Adam would want a message to be sent out instructing the young to "live life to the full -- but to be careful", adding that we do not always realise the danger posed by our rivers.

Afterwards, the remains were removed for cremation at Newlands Cross Crematorium.

Irish Independent

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