Belfast Telegraph

Final farewells for little Donnacadh Maguire, 'a boy so full of energy and so much joy'

By Donna Deeney

A young boy who died tragically in Londonderry brought so much joy to so many people, mourners at his funeral heard.

Hundreds gathered at St Eugene's Cathedral to say a final farewell to little Donnacadh Maguire on Saturday. The six-year-old passed away at Altnagelvin Hospital on Tuesday.

He had been found lying on the road outside his Tyrconnell Street home with serious head injuries, which police have said could have been the result of a collision with a vehicle.

On Saturday celebrant at the Mass of the Angels, Fr Paul Farren, compared the little boy to the Power Rangers, the cartoon characters he loved.

"I have to confess I am not an expert in Power Rangers but Donnacadh was," he said.

"They are described as 'stronger than before, powered up for more, higher they can soar'. These words can also describe Donnacadh so well. He was positive. He was energetic and he was so full of life.

"The Power Rangers are only cartoon creatures in the land of make-believe, singing about being stronger than before - being powered up for more and soaring to greater heights. Donnacadh is stronger than before, he has soared to greater heights - the heights of Heaven. His strength comes now from being in the heart of God.

"He will help so many of you and so many other people from now on because of how close he is to God.

"God will need to be very energetic if he is to match Donnacadh's energy in Heaven.

"He was bursting with energy, bursting with joy. Donnacadh brought so much joy to so many people, there is no doubt that the joy in Heaven will increase because Donnacadh is there."

Donnacadh's parents Alan and Sarah, sister Saoirse and brother Kealan led the congregation behind the tiny white coffin bearing the boy's remains, and Fr Farren offered words of comfort to them in their grief.

He added: "As we stand in the face of this horrific pain we can be riddled with so many 'whys' and 'if onlys'. It is not fair because there are no answers.

"It is all so wrong, it is all too painful and it definitely should not be this way.

"We stand in the face of a terrible mystery and what have we to hold on to? We have God, we have each other. God is here, God is with us all the time, particularly in the darkness.

"This is a time to care for each other - to be gentle towards one another and to hold on to one another. God cries with us, He gently reveals to us again that death does not have the final say in the story of Mass."

Donnacadh's fellow pupils from St Eugene's Primary School paid their own poignant tribute to him by releasing brightly coloured balloons which soared into the sky and up into the clouds.

Surrounded by floral tributes including teddy bears and a Manchester United football jersey, the tiny white coffin was taken to the City Cemetery to his final resting place.

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