Please do not let my son's death be in vain: Grieving Dad in road safety appeal at funeral

Please do not let my son's death be in vain: Grieving Dad in road safety appeal at funeral
Mourners at the funeral of Oisin Cahill at St John's Church, Kilmaley , Co Clare on Thursday.

By Gordon Deegan

The grieving father of 18-year old Clare youth, Oisín Cahill, told his funeral mass today that his son will have died in vain if anyone attending gets hurt or are injured on the country’s roads.

At Kilmaley Church, John Cahill said "if there is any good to come out of this, please, please, please be safe on our roads".

In the road tragedy on Easter Sunday morning outside Ennis, Oisín's cousin, Darragh Killeen also died in the crash while a third friend, Enda Hickey remains in hospital.

Mr Cahill said Oisín’s “wonderful friends” are a credit to their parents and asked that the parents support them at this difficult time.

Mr Cahill today described his only son - a star underage hurler- to mourners as his ‘best friend’.

He said: “I have heard often that you shouldn’t develop the type of relationship with your children that you could call one of them your best friend, but I’m afraid that I failed there and I have to say that Oisín was my best friend. He was my best friend in every way.”

Oisín was a lynchpin on Kilmaley’s minor and u-21 hurling teams this year and Mr Cahill said that the family will watch on “with terrible sadness” but wish the team the best of luck in the minor championship.

Mr Cahill said every night in the Cahill home, Oisín would got to the Holy Water font “and he would find us and put the sign of the cross on our foreheads and he went off to bed”.

Recalling last Sunday morning, Mr Cahill said: “The phone call I got last Sunday morning as I just sat out in the van waiting to go to to the Dawn Mass for 6am - I never realised that when I answered that our lives would never, ever be the same - the whole world changed for us in the blink of an eye.”

Mr Cahill said that 18 years ago, Oisín was a Santa present for his older sister, Rebecca who had asked Santa for a baby brother.

Mr Cahill said that Oisin had four sisters. He said: “We were happy out - never had want for anything and we grew up together.”

One of Oisín’s younger sisters, Eilís also addressed mourners and said that it “just wasn’t fair having to pick out a coffin for Oisín on Monday”.

Eilis described Oisín as “a one in a million brother” and “an extraordinary young man”.

Tributes to cousins Oisín Cahill (18) and Darragh Killeen (19) who died in a horror crash in Ennis on Sunday morning. Their friend Enda Hickey remains seriously ill in hospital. Photograph Press 22
Tributes to cousins Oisín Cahill (18) and Darragh Killeen (19) who died in a horror crash in Ennis on Sunday morning. Their friend Enda Hickey remains seriously ill in hospital. Photograph Press 22

She said: “From the minute I was born, he minded and protected me. Oisín was always there for me if I ever needed anything."

“I cherished the ground Oisín walked on - he was my idol and role model.”

Eilís said that Oisin used to be jumping around and fooling about the kitchen at home and making her laugh.

She said: “Mam used to say ‘you just love him’ and I would shake it off and say ‘no , he is only a fool’ but oh what I would give now to see him fooling around the kitchen now”.

She said every night without fail, Oisin would walk past her bedroom door and say ‘Goodnight Eilís, see you tomorrow”. She said: “Nighttime is not going to be same anymore.”

Eilís said that the last few days have been very hard “but I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing everyone’s stories of Oisín”.

She told mourners to “smile and be happy” when thinking "of our amazing brother, son, cousin and grandson that Oisín was".

The car in which cousins Oisín Cahill (18) and Darragh Killeen (19) died in a horror crash in Ennis on Sunday morning leaving their friend Enda Hickey seriously ill in hospital. Photograph Press 22
The car in which cousins Oisín Cahill (18) and Darragh Killeen (19) died in a horror crash in Ennis on Sunday morning leaving their friend Enda Hickey seriously ill in hospital. Photograph Press 22

Mr Cahill also proudly told of Oisín’s many hurling achievements including being the first player in Kilmaley’s history to play in an u-14, u-15 and u-16 finals the same year.

Mr Cahill recalled as the players walked off the pitch from the u-15 final win where Oisín scoring five points from play “I was two foot taller than when I walked in, I couldn’t have been more proud of the young lad”.

Mr Cahill recalled how Oisín was also “a fantastic shepherd” and said that as a young teen his 10 ewes produced 21 lambs the first year and 10 lambs the second year.

Mr Cahill said that Oisín enjoyed buying cars. He said: “He was a great man for Done Deal - he would be on Done Deal 24/7.”

Mr Cahill said that Oisín had a car transporter at home to bring the cars back to Kilmaley. He said: “That car transporter is at home in the garage and - it will go on no more journeys.”

Earlier, symbols of Oisín's life including his rosary beads, his work overalls, his First Holy Communion book and his hurley and helmet were carried to the top of the Church by his friends.

Oisín is survived by his parents John and Angela and sisters, Rebecca, Eilís, Caoimhe and Caoilinn. Oisin was later laid to rest at Kilmaley cemetery.

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