The family of a boy who died following injuries sustained when he was hit by a car in 2008 said goodbye to him at his Mass of the Angels service yesterday.
Ian Cusack, 9, was remembered by family and friends who packed into Ballybrown Church, Co Limerick.
Last month, Ian was awarded a €5.5m High Court settlement after he sued the driver of the car through his mother Oorla.
He suffered a devastating head injury in the collision, which occurred outside his home on Sep 25, 2008, that left him needing 24-hour care.
He died peacefully on Friday morning in the care of staff at Cooleen’s Respite House in Charleville, Co Cork.
His mother said she had brought the High Court action so the family would not would not be “at the mercy of the HSE” in seeking basic equipment and facilities for Ian.
Ian’s 11-year-old brother Jack, who has autism, lost a brother who had been an “anchor in his life”, the High Court had heard.
Very Reverend Muiris O’Connor yesterday told mourners that, from the moment Ian was struck by the car “life was turned completely upside down” for the Cusacks.
“It has been a difficult four years for them since then... long bedside vigils, caring for Ian... long stays in different hospitals. The initial hopes perhaps that he would make a recovery — because he was a fighter — and then the gradual realisation that, for Ian, things were not going to improve. The odds were always against him, even in these days of advanced medicine,” he said.
A number of items representing Ian’s life were placed beside his white coffin including a Munster jersey and a picture of the little boy dressed as a superhero.
In an emotional tribute to her nephew, Ian’s aunt Fiona spoke aloud a letter she wrote to him after his tragic death.
“Your first four-and-a- half years in this world were full of joy, mischief and adventure. You loved superheroes... funny how you turned out to be the best superhero of all.
“On the contrary, your last four years were full of pain and suffering...! We almost lost you so many times, but you always came back to us — it’s no wonder we named you Lazarus.”
Ian’s favourite song, The Script’s The Man Who Can’t Be Moved was played, before schoolmates performed a guard of honour as his remains were taken to Adare Cemetery.
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