A seven-year-old who died of leukaemia on New Year's Eve just months after he received 10,000 birthday cards from well-wishers from all over the world has been described at his requiem mass as a "miracle child" and a " gorgeous, happy chatty little man."
In a tribute to her son Fionn at St Bartholomew's Church in Kildorrery, Co Cork Eimear Doyle said the family would forever hold dear the memories of the precious time they spent with their "cheeky little monkey."
"We are so so proud of you (Fionn) and how you fought so hard for so long with such bravery and courage. You still kept that gorgeous smile on your face through it all. These last seven months you have battled on. Even though no one had expected you would."
Eimear said that she and her husband Jack and their two children Saoirse and Amy savoured every moment they had with Fionn.
"We grabbed that time together and made wonderful memories that we will treasure forever. But how lucky are we to have had someone in our lives that made saying goodbye so hard? (We) love you Fionn."
Eimear recited the "Invisible Cord" poem which conveys the strong links between mother and child. She said that the bond between mother and child was like a "invisible cord not seen by the eye."
"I know that it is there though no one can see. The invisible cord from my child to me. The strength of this cord is hard to describe. It can't be destroyed. It cannot be denied."
Kildorrery Parish Priest Fr Eamon Kelleher said that Fionn was a "little miracle." He stated that nobody could truly comprehend the depth of suffering of the family of the youngster. However, he vowed that the local community would do everything in their power to help the bereaved.
"If we could bear some of your suffering, we would. You are surrounded by people who care for you, who are praying for you and who want to help you in any small way they can."
Offertory gifts included a Garda badge Fionn received from local officers on the occasion of his last birthday, a Power Rangers toy, an orange notebook to represent his favourite colour, and a dog lead belonging to his beloved "Lightning."
Local schoolchildren and Kildorrery Scouts provided a guard of honour as his coffin was carried from the church the church. His parents were among those who carried his Power Rangers coffin to the hearse as a local secondary student sang "Stand By Me" by Ben E King.
Fionn's parents and two sisters wore orange for the requiem mass in keeping with his great affinity with the colour.
Donations were made to the Children's Leukaemia Association in lieu of flowers. A cremation followed the mass.
Fionn received cards from as far away as Australia and the United States last August after his mother posted on Facebook about the big party she was organising for his final birthday. .
The Garda Response Unit and Garda Dog Unit were among the guests at the party at his home in Scart, Kildorrery.
A convoy of Garda cars and a fire engine were also in attendance at the house to celebrate the big day. Fionn was presented with his own Garda uniform by Fermoy gardai and a medal for being a Super Hero.
The youngster was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of just 18 months. He underwent treatment and went into remission in the summer of 2016. However, he suffered a relapse six months later.
A bone marrow transplant in December 2017 failed to stem the cancer. Last May, his parents were told to prepare themselves for the worst when Fionn ended up on a ventilator but his condition improved and he returned home from Dublin to North Cork.
Whilst celebrating his birthday his mother Eimear said it was a day that they weren't sure they would ever see.
"When Fionn came home from hospital in May after spending days on a ventilator, we were told days to weeks at most, nothing more, but today was magical - memories made that will last forever."
Eimear said they received about 2,000 cards a day leading up his birthday. She added that his face "lit up" when he saw the Garda cars and the fire engine.
"It was just magical and we are so grateful to everyone who made it such a special day for him and for us and gave us memories we will cherish forever.”
It is understood that Fionn's family decided to celebrate Christmas in early December in case his condition worsened. However, he survived the festive period. He died peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on December 31st.