The village of Ballinkillen came to a stop today for the funerals of murdered Chada brothers Eoghan (10) and Ruairi (5) who were described as "two little boys who lived life to the full and who embraced every day with with energy and were full of love and happiness".
There was silence as the two hearses carrying the small white coffins were driven slowly side by side along the short distance from the boys'
family home to St. Lazarian's Church.
The route was lined with a guard-of-honour made up of members of local sports clubs and young classmates of the brothers from Balinkillen National School.
Before the funeral mass began, a procession of symbols of Eoghan and Ruairi's short lives were brought to the altar, and these included a hurley, a football, a toy tractor, a cookbook, a golf club, a bicycle and a photo of the boys and their parents which was taken on their last family holiday.
The chief mourners were their mother Kathleen, grandparents William and Patsy Murphy and Bimla Chada, along with members of both extended families.
Their father Sanjev Chada had been charged with their murder on Thursday evening in Westport, the town close to where the boys' bodies had been discovered in the boot of the family car.
The small church was packed for the Requiem Mass, with a couple of hundred more mourners following the service outside.
The mass was presided over by parish priest Fr. Declan Foley; also concelebrating was Bishop-Elect Fr. Denis Nulty. In his homily, Fr.
Nulty described the tragedy as "beyond comprehension and almost impossible to put into words, but to remain silent would do Eoghan and Ruairi a disservice".
He also said that the brothers "loved their mam and dad deeply - I want to emphasise that - they loved their mam and dad deeply".
He painted a vivid picture of two lively boys who were deeply involved in the local community. "They were deeply embedded in the local GAA and soccer clubs and were extremely talented players with very bright futures," he said, adding that the older brother was "an apprentice magician and enjoyed nothing more than practicing his skills on Ruairi".
The Second Reading was given by Kathleen's sister-in-law Triona Murphy, and was the story of Noah's Ark which was the boys' favourite bible story, and the Communion Reflection was delivered by Fr George Augustine, an Indian priest from Portlaoise.
Some of the extended family had travelled to Ireland for the funeral, including Sanjev's sister Suman and her partner Pablo who live in Madrid, also Sanjev's brother Keshev and his wife Audrey and their children who are based in Northern Ireland.
At the end of the mass, poignant reflections were read out by two of Kathleen's cousins which were written by Kathleen's sister Sharon who lives in Australia.
A last guard of honour lined up from the church door to the adjoining graveyard. The brothers were then laid to rest side-by-side.