Friday 23 February 2018

Tragic Eoin O'Neill (3) is 'gone to heaven and playing and dancing with God now'

More than a thousand mourners attend funeral of toddler who died following a head-on collision on Bank Holiday Monday

Eoin O'Neill (3) who was fatally injured in a crash in Co Monaghan
Eoin O'Neill (3) who was fatally injured in a crash in Co Monaghan
Mourners at the funeral of Eoin O'Neill (3) who died following head on collision in Co Monaghan on Monday. His mother Rose sustained serious injuries in the collision

Joe McCabe

A TODDLER who was killed in a road crash “is gone to heaven and is playing and dancing before God,” mourners at his funeral were told.

Eoin O’Neill (3) died following a horrific head-on car crash outside Carrickmacross in Co Monaghan on Bank Holiday Monday.

Earlier today, more than a thousand mourners gathered at the rural Church of the Sacred Heart in Lough Egish as Eoin’s Sky blue Teddy Bear coffin arrived at the church.

Parish Priest Fr Shane McCaughey extended his deepest sympathy to Eoin’s grieving parents Derek and Rose, and their extended family on behalf of the community.

“Since this terrible tragedy has struck we have been on a rollercoaster of emotions swinging from grief to anger and even joy at times.

“ But we have all asked the same questions, to which there are no answers. Why did this happen, and why did God allow this to happen? “ he said.

“I say today thank God for the life of Eoin, for his three and a half years of life.

“I know that Eoin is gone to Heaven and that he is playing and dancing before God himself.”

In an emotional address, Fr McCaughey said family members brought Eoin's body to his mother's hospital bed in Dublin on Thursday.

Rose O’Neill sustained pelvic and leg injuries in the crash and was transported to Tallaght hospital in Dublin for treatment.

“We now pray especially today for Rose in hospital in Dublin. Our sympathy is heartfelt,” he said. 

Gifts for the altar represented Eoin’s short life – his favourite toy motorcycle, a Bob The Builder book, an O’Neill family photograph, Eoin’s baptism candle, an Aughnamullen GFC Jersey, as well as a picture of him at play.

The gifts were brought to the altar by Eoin’s uncle Terry and by his cousins Elaine, Padraig Thomas and Grainne. 

Many mourners broke down near the end of the funeral Mass of the Angels when the congregation helped to sing little Eoin’s favourite song –‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’.

Guards of Honour were provided by members of Aughnamullen GFC, Latton Creche which Eoin attended, and McGee’s Foods Lough Egish where Eoin’s mother Rose is employed.

Among the mourners were Eoin’s heartbroken father Derek, his grandparents Hugh and Betty O’Neill and Packie and Mary Lambe and many relatives.

Eoin’s remains were later taken to his final resting place in the adjacent churchyard, where there were further solemn scenes as the little coffin was lowered into the ground.

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