Mourners at Ryan McGovern funeral told he will be 'guiding the angels in Heaven'
A young boy killed in a road crash is now "guiding the angels in Heaven", his funeral has been told.
Seven-year-old Ryan McGovern from Lattone in Co Fermanagh had recently helped country singing star Nathan Carter perform a well-known number in Enniskillen, mourners heard.
Belleek and Garrison Parish Priest Father Tiernan Beggan told a crowd of 2,500 mourners who crammed in and around Mary Queen of Peace Church Garrison yesterday that they were saying "slan" to a very special young man.
Ryan's Funeral Mass was delayed by 45 minutes to cater for the massive crowd who came to say goodbye to the little boy lost his life in a road traffic accident near his home at Lattone last Sunday.
Heart-rending sobs echoed around the chapel as the small white coffin was brought into the chapel along with Ryan's grieving extended family.
Among the thousands of messages of sympathy was a Facebook post from country singing legend Carter who said: "I am so saddened by the passing of young Ryan McGovern…young Ryan was up on the stage singing with me at my show in Enniskillen recently.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families involved at this time."
Father Beggan said Ryan had packed more into his seven years than some 90-year-olds and added he certainly made use of all the talents God have given him.
Ryan was a "happy, bubbly child with a wonderful smile", the priest told mourners, adding: "He was interested in everything and had a real joy for life."
Father Beggan also told how Ryan loved nature and animals and was also very sporting.
"Ryan was a great wee farmer and loved all God's creatures but he also had a bright and enquiring mind that was always looking for answers," he said. "He loved to take things apart, but not with a hammer, and I suppose that was the mechanic in him.
"And he was a great collector, as opposed to a hoarder, who had things that might be useful in the future - things like a screwdriver, a magnet and various other implements.
"Ryan was very popular in St Martin's Primary School in Garrison and when he was sent out on a message to another classroom, his great personality meant that he came back with all the news."
Ryan also loved Batman, Gaelic football, boxing and even wrestling, which Father Beggan said he practised with his beloved brothers.
He was also a keen and enthusiastic member of the Devenish U-8 Gaelic football team, having pedigree in that area as senior Fermanagh GAA star Martin O'Brien is a first cousin.
In a moving homily, Father Beggan said there were no real words to explain why Ryan had been taken away so young and so suddenly.
"Only the words of faith can help us at this very sad time," the priest said.
But he added that Ryan's parents, Michelle and Donal, had been blessed to have such a truly remarkable son who touched so many people in his short yet happy life.
Ryan was later laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery.