Sad farewell to Leon (12)
Twelve-year-old Leon Murphy was given a poignant send-off as the village of Clonroche came to a halt for his funeral.
The chirpy youngster died in the early hours of Friday at his home in Canon Murphy Park, just a few weeks before he was due to travel to Disneyland with the Share a Dream Foundation.
The lost trip was recalled as movie characters including Mickey Mouse made an appearance when Leon was brought to St Clement's church for the funeral on Sunday.
The many passions that young Leon packed into his short life were reflected during the obsequies as the coffin was brought to church on a trailer pulled by a quad bike.
Guards of honour were provided by anglers who shared his enthusiasm for fishing and by his fellow supporters of Liverpool soccer club.
The cortege was led by a couple of vintage tractors, reflecting his interest in the old machinery, while hot rod cars revved up in his honour as Leon passed through the village.
The Mass was celebrated by parish priest Fr Bernard Cushen, who confirmed the deceased in his bedroom at Canon Murphy Park a couple of days before he passed away.
And the PP was joined at the altar by Fr Jim Fegan, chaplain to Our Lady of Fatima school in Wexford, where Leon was a very happy pupil, not least when it was time for swimming and horse riding.
Mourners recalled a boy who was full of mischief throughout his all too short life, a boy who made an impression on all around him with his zest for living.
He will be remembered as a free spirit with a cheeky grin and two lovely big eyes.
He first fell ill during the summer and required brain surgery on a tumour at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.
He returned to school during October but suffered a major relapse less than a week before he died.
He now lies buried in Cloughbawn parish cemetery alongside his sister Jasmine, who died six years ago while still an infant.
He is mourned by his grandparents Mag and Willie, by his mother Annette, by his brothers Derek and Tyler, sisters Mia and Lily, by his uncles, aunts, cousins and other family members as well as by friends and neighbours who will always miss his smile.