Friday 23 August 2019

'You brought us nothing but joy and a smile' - Poignant tributes at funeral of young crash victim

The funeral of Eamonn Dixon (inset)
The funeral of Eamonn Dixon (inset)
The funeral of Eamonn Dixon

Conor Kane

“A free spirit who lived life in the present and on his terms,” was how a heartbroken family remembered their son, brother and grandson yesterday at the funeral Mass for Eamonn Dixon in Dungarvan.

Eamonn (21) was one of three men who lost their lives in a crash outside Dungarvan last Sunday week, along with Michael Tobin (38) from Old Parish in Co Waterford and Kenneth O’Sullivan (39) from Blackpool, Cork.

Two adults and four children were seriously injured in the crash after their people-carrier was involved in a collision with the Volkswagen Golf carrying the three men who died.

The family were on their way to the Winterval festival in Waterford city when the crash happened at about 10am on December 4.

Prayers were said at yesterday’s funeral Mass in Abbeyside, Dungarvan, for all of those affected by the tragedy.

Eamonn grew up and lived at Murphy Place in Abbeyside, just across the bridge from the centre of Dungarvan, and after reposing at his home since Sunday, his remains made the short journey to nearby St Augustine’s Church yesterday morning.

The funeral of Eamonn Dixon
The funeral of Eamonn Dixon

His remains were accompanied by his parents Lorraine and Darren, siblings, grandparents and other relatives and friends.

A guard of honour was provided by students from St Augustine’s College, where Eamonn went to secondary school.

Eamon Dixon, who died in the horror Waterford crash
Eamon Dixon, who died in the horror Waterford crash

Symbols of his life carried to the top of the church by relatives included the white garment he wore when he was baptised, a crucifix and a bible, while others clutched photographs of the young man.

His uncle Marcus Dixon paid tribute on behalf of the family. “From the day you were born you brought us nothing but joy and a smile. It’s easier for us to think of you going away for a while. You were a gift given to us but only for a short while,” he said.

“Eamonn had a saying, ‘stop worrying, I’m not here for a long time, I’m here for a good time’. He was a free spirit who lived in the present and on his terms.”

The family remembered him as somebody who made friends easily; “He was true to each of them, supported them and made them happy.”

Emergency services and gardai at the scene of the fatal crash on the N72 outside Dungarvan, Co Waterford
Emergency services and gardai at the scene of the fatal crash on the N72 outside Dungarvan, Co Waterford

His passing has left a “huge void” in the lives of his family, he said. “His brothers and sister who loved him to bits are going to go on without him, but they are better to have had him in their lives.”

Parish priest of the Abbeyside parish in Dungarvan, Fr Ned Hassett, said he had been told many stories about Eamonn since last week’s tragedy, many of which related to his love for his family.

“He loved his music,” Fr Hassett said, adding that Eamonn also loved helping his grandfather on the grounds of the Friary college, and loved greyhounds and coursing.

Afterwards, friends and neighbours offered their sympathies to the tearful family and relatives outside the church, before Eamonn’s remains were brought to the Island Crematorium in Ringaskiddy, Cork for cremation.

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