Tragedies will resonate with every parent
Jack McGrath, Micky Leady, Jack Downey, Jessica Moore, Nora Quoirin, Avery Greene. Six young lives tragically cut short in the space of a week, each story as heartbreaking as the next.
The unbearable events of the past week have rocked communities right across the country, none more so than the high-profile case of Nora Quoirin.
And while the sad deaths of all six children came about in different circumstances, the common thread running through them all is that all six deaths happened at what should have been times of celebration and joy for the kids involved and their families.
Jack McGrath (18) died in a car accident on his way to collect family members from a wedding. Micky Leady (15) died following a fall while on holidays in Spain with his family. Jack Downey (19) died three days after attending a music festival in Cork.
Jessica Moore (19) died after falling ill the night of her debs in Galway - she was due to collect her Leaving Cert results the following day.
Nora Quoirin (15) made headlines around the world after her body was sadly discovered in the Malaysian jungle, 10 days after she was reported missing from a resort by her heartbroken family. Avery Greene (4) died after being found unconscious in a swimming pool in Spain while on holidays with his family.
The loss of a child must be one of the hardest things any adult has to endure in their lifetime. When that loss is in such a sudden and unexpected way, as all six of these deaths are, makes it harder again, if such a thing is possible.
I count myself extremely lucky to be the parent of two beautiful children, aged 4 and 20 months respectively. The weekend Nora Quoirin went missing, we were starting a family holiday of our own in Majorca. It was a fantastic week where the kids had a ball. My wife and I were just happy seeing our kids having fun - it is what family holidays are all about.
The only blip on the holiday was a frustrating delay of 26 hours on our flight home. At the time, we thought this was a major inconvenience, but in the bigger scheme of things, it didn't matter a jot. Yes, it was a bit of hassle, but what would the six families mentioned above give to have a problem like this?
These six unspeakable tragedies will resonate with every parent in the country. They offer a timely reminder that life is precious, especially when children are involved.
We should cherish every minute we have with our kids, we should hug them a little tighter, we should tell them we love them as often as possible.