Daniel's favourite tractor leads the cortege as tragic tot is laid to rest
Published 28/02/2013 | 04:20
Hundreds of mourners who attended the funeral of toddler Daniel Grant heard how the little boy was a loving child with a "warm smile and happy laugh".
The two-and-a-half-year-old, who died at his family home on Saturday after becoming tangled in a blind cord, was laid to rest yesterday in St Patrick's Church, Mayobridge, near Newry.
Just after 11.15am the cortege left the Grant family home on its painful journey.
Leading the mourners, ahead of the hearse, was a large green John Deere tractor – which, along with sport, was among the toddler's favourite things.
The hearse carrying the small white coffin was adorned with white and yellow flowers and messages of sympathy for his family.
Supporting each other, family, friends and loved ones made their way to the church, including Daniel's parents Brian and Paula and siblings Brian jnr, Niamh and Peter.
The streets of Mayobridge – where the Grants run a local shop – were lined with people wanting to pay their respects.
Finally stopping outside the church, a number of tulips were delicately placed on top of the small white coffin by his siblings. Waiting outside was a guard of honour formed by members of the local Mayobridge GAA team.
At the Mass, gifts brought to the altar by cousins and siblings included a John Deere toy tractor, Liverpool FC and Down GAA jersies, a golf club, a bottle of milk and 'a wee bun' – all symbols of his life. During the prayers said by family members reference was made to the organs that were donated following his death.
"In the pain of losing Daniel he has given life to four other children and his generous heart lives on," one of his cousins said.
Fr Charlie Byrne, who led the funeral Mass of Thanksgiving, spoke of the shock that his sudden death had caused.
He described Daniel as a "very loving child".
"A precious young life taken from us," he said.
He said the toddler was known for his "warm smile, happy laugh" and love of sports and tractors.
It is understood Daniel, who was due to turn three in April, had climbed on to a windowsill to look at a tractor going past when he became entangled in a blind cord. He was rushed from his Bavan Road home to Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry at around 6.45pm, but is understood to have been pronounced dead soon after arrival.
Mourners heard how the little boy had enjoyed watching the tractor working in nearby fields "over and over".
"Daniel gave an awful lot and received an awful lot in the short time he was here," Fr Byrne said.
He also spoke of the shock both the family and community were suddenly plunged into.
"It is impossible to describe the feeling – the feeling that somehow everything has changed and never to be the same again."
He added they were feeling as if they have been "robbed of hopes and dreams, so many plans, so many expectations".
Towards the end of Mass a poem written by the family was read out.
It read: "There's an angel up in Heaven with a brand new pair of wings. He is flying everywhere and bumping into things.
"On more than one occasion God has told him to sit down, But he's having none of it. He's rolling round and round.
"He's flying here. He's flying there. From one cloud to another.
"For that Angel with the brand new wings is 'Daniel', our little brother."
After Mass burial took place in the adjoining cemetery.