Tragic Joshua Hill (10) described as "ray of light" in moving tribute from dad at funeral of drowning victim
TRAGIC 10-year-old drowning victim Joshua Hill has been laid to rest following the accident that claimed his life this week.
Hundreds of mourners packed St Michael’s Church in Carlingford where tributes were paid to the youngster.
Last Thursday he was found drowned in an outdoor tub at the family home near the picturesque County Louth village.
Mourners were led by his parents Peter and Olivia and his brother Oliver who read one of the readings during the funeral service.
His father Peter thanked everyone who came “to celebrate his life” and described his son as “a ray of light.”
“He will be sorely missed but he gave such energy to everything he did and we’ll always remember him,” he told the congregation who responded with a round of applause.
Symbols of his life had been brought forward by family and friends including among other items his blanket, his school photograph and his jigsaw
Members of the Maria Goretti centre, some in tears, formed a guard of honour as Joshua’s white coffin with floral decorations was carried out.
Local parish priest Fr Brian MacRaois celebrated the funeral Mass and offered words of comfort to Joshua’s family.
“We know that Joshua was non-verbal but he had his words for what he wanted and what he liked,” he said.
“He communicated non-verbally and very powerfully. From that inner purity there radiated energy that was beautiful, a bright light always shining, a joy that was infectious.”
“Joshua was joyful, he was happy, he was happy in himself, he was happy in his family, he was happy in his home, he was happy in Rathore School, he was happy in the Maria Goretti centre,” he added,
“An occasion like this, Joshua’s life in its totality, I think, allows us all a glimpse into the great mystery in which we are all involved. Life will always be a mystery.”
After Mass Joshua was interred at the nearby St Michael’s Cemetery.
Emergency services had been called to the home of Joshua at 7am last Thursday and had rushed him to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda where he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
His death is being treated as a tragic accident.
On Thursday, local SDLP politician Justin McNulty shared his condolences to Joshua’s family on social media.
The former Armagh footballer wrote: “Devastating news from Carlingford today.
“This tragedy is shocking and heart-breaking for the Hill family and for the communities of Killeavy and Carlingford.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Joshua’s parents Olivia and Peter, with his older brother Oliver and with the Hill and Mackin families and friends at this terrible time. I pray the families can summon the strength from somewhere to help them cope.
“I know they will have the full support of community and friends. Our deepest condolences are with them all.