The grief-stricken father of road crash victim Darragh Killeen has told mourners his 19-year-old son had given the gift of life to four others through organ donation.
At the funeral Mass at Inch Church on Saturday afternoon, Thomas Killeen told the packed church and hundreds more standing outside that Darragh has given the gift of life to two seriously ill people and to two others where the organ donation has improved their quality of life.
Saturday’s funeral Mass was the second in three days in the Kilmaley-Inch communities as people came together to mourn the loss of Darragh and his cousin Oisín Cahill, 18.
Oisín was pronounced dead after a road crash in the early hours of Easter Sunday morning at Woodstock, outside Ennis. On Tuesday, Darragh died from his injuries in the crash but not before his organs were donated. The recipients were prayed for in the Prayers of the Faithful at Darragh’s funeral Mass.
A third man, Enda Hickey, continues to receive treatment for injuries sustained in the one-vehicle crash.
Paying tribute to his son at the end of the funeral Mass, Mr Killeen said Darragh “was a beacon of hope and love for all”.
“Darragh was the light of anyone who met him — his presence alone would keep you cheerful,” he said.
Mr Killeen said his son was a mixture of many people — “and the goodness of all those people shone through in him”.
Mr Killeen said Darragh “never said ‘no’ of anything that was asked of him or imposed on any person”.
Darragh was captain of the Kilmaley U21 C hurling team and his father said “he loved his hurling and his football — it didn’t matter too much to him if he won or lost”.
He said Darragh and Oisín did the same summer job together.
“They were in heaven like they are now,” he added.
He said the pair, along with two other friends, Shane and Tommy, purchased a caravan and last year travelled some of the Wild Atlantic Way — “they were ready to continue their quest this year”, he said.
The first two symbols of Darragh’s life brought to the altar were model tractors and farm animals.
“Darragh knew from an early age that he was going to be a farmer and he loved his cows and calves,” mourners were told. “His bond with his animals was tremendous.”
Darragh is survived by his parents, Thomas and Hilda, brother Senan and sister Aoife. Darragh’s remains were cremated at Shannon crematorium.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved