Village united in grief as ‘full of fun’ schoolboy Tadhg is laid to rest

Tears flowed freely at a requiem Mass as a grieving father paid tribute to his “loving and caring son” who was described as a “popular, generous” teenager who was “full of fun”.

The East Cork village of Killeagh came to a standstill yesterday for the funeral of Tadhg Coleman, a 15 year old Junior Certificate student who died suddenly at the beginning of the week.

Hundreds of people gathered inside and outside St John the Baptist Church to pay their sympathies to his father John, mother Ursula and sister, Kelly on Tadhg’s tragic passing.

The cause of his death at the family home in the village is not yet known.

Among those gathered in the church were team mates from Killeagh GAA Club and school friends from Midleton CBS who were allowed sit an afternoon Junior Certificate Irish exam later than scheduled to attend the funeral.

Yesterday Tadhg, who was called ‘Tigger’ by his friends, was remembered as a friendly, outgoing “team player” who adored hurling and had pucked a ball around in a field with friends just hours before he died.

“Tadhg loved going everywhere and anywhere there was going to be people and friends… and that included national school, secondary school and every GAA pitch in Ireland,” said his father John.

“He was a loving, sociable being, always ready to talk, chat and salute both young and old.”

“He was a loving and caring son to ourselves... He was a fabulous brother to Kelly, a fantastic grandson and a very special cousin. Tadhg loved everybody and everybody loved Tadhg.”

Priest Fr Gerry Coleman, the teenager’s uncle, told a packed church that Tadhg had been “taken suddenly” and that his death has brought a heavy grief and burden for his family, as well as for the wider community.

“There are no words to express the depth of pain and sorrow, but neither are there words to express our gratitude for the people who have come and have been with us and supported us at this very hard and tough time,” he said.

“It’s a time of great sorrow, but there is so much to be thankful for too. Tadhg was a tremendous character who touched the lives of so many... He was good with young and old and had a word for everyone.”

“He wasn’t phased by the Junior Cert… by the challenge. He took it in his stride. He was looking forward to the summer break.”

After the Mass, team mates from Killeagh and Imokilly GAA Clubs and Midleton CBS lined the main street for a guard of honour.

Members of Killeagh GAA Club carried Tadhg’s coffin, which was draped in a Killeagh flag through the village, stopping briefly at Tadhg’s family home, before continuing to the New Cemetery for burial.

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