‘Hollie’s life touched all of us deeply’

A CORK baby, laid to rest yesterday, had touched the hearts of many people.

A priest who officiated at a Mass of Angels described the courage of little Hollie O’Riordan.

The Ballyvolane baby, who celebrated her first birthday in November, died early on St Stephen’s Day.

She had suffered from a rare intestinal disorder.

Local curate Fr James McSweeney said the little girl had touched the hearts of everyone in the city.

“Hollie’s short life has touched all of us deeply,” he said. “In a world where the shallow and trivial thrives, Hollie went much deeper into our lives.

“She left an imprint on all of our lives in how to be brave, in how to be strong and in how to be hopeful even when all seems lost.”

In a touching homily in St Oliver’s Church, Fr McSweeney said: “Her big beautiful smile won over so many of our hearts. It wasn’t a smile just on occasions but a smile that was part of every single day of her life.”

The priest also singled out Hollie’s parents, Eddie and Sylvia, for their courage.

Describing them as wonderful parents, Fr McSweeney said: “Hollie hit many obstacles and walls during her short life. When many of us would have turned around and given up, Hollie, with the help of her mum and dad, always found a way forward.”

To the parents, he said: “You, Sylvia and Eddie, were just wonderful to her and showered her with so much love that she thrived and blossomed.

“We salute you and say how proud we are of you and all you have done for Hollie during her short life.”

The baby was the only known Irish sufferer of microvillus inclusion disease which affected her ability to absorb enough nutrients to keep the body health.

Her parents had been hopeful of Hollie having a life-saving operation in Britain in 2006.

However, they have now asked that donations raised by the local community would be sent to Tir Na nÓg children’s ward at Cork University Hospital to support other families.

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