MOURNERS who watched the live streaming of 12-year-old Abi McGeough’s funeral mass earlier today heard how she was a courageous, determined and fun-loving girl who cared deeply about other people.
Abi, suffered from a number of health conditions throughout her short life and passed away at Cork University Hospital on Saturday.
The funeral service, which was held at the Church Of The Annunciation in Blackpool, was attended by Abi’s immediate family only due to the Covid-19 restrictions.
Outside the church, family, friends, neighbours and members of the emergency services lined the streets to pay tribute to the little girl who faced so many obstacles with remarkable courage.
Delivering the eulogy on behalf of Abi’s mother Leslieann, Abi’s aunt Sabrina McGeough spoke about the loss the family has sustained.
"You are our sun, our moon and our stars," she said.
"On November 12, 2007, you arrived into the world and from day one you filled every day with love, laughter and sass."
Those gathered in the church and streaming the service from outside heard how Abi was an extroverted young girl who had an inner strength beyond her years.
"You had a beautiful, endearing personality and you had the ability to have the chats with everybody, young and old no matter who they were.
"You faced many obstacles in your life but your courage, determination, bravery and your attitude meant that none of these obstacles held you back even for a split second.
"You breezed through them all with a big, friendly smile on your face and never ever complained," Sabrina read.
Abi was born with hydrocephalus — a blockage of fluid to the brain — and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in 2009.
In 2013, Abi’s 'Wish to Walk Campaign' saw people band together in an effort to fundraise for treatment in America.
"We as a family saw how kind and generous people are in doing the things that they did for you to get you to America so your wish would come true.
"We saw people jump out of planes, climb mountains, cycle up and down Patrick’s Hill 150 times when it’s difficult to even do it once.
"People organised concerts, quiz nights, bake sales, waxing nights, boxing tournaments and people even dressed up as elves all to help you.
"Abi, you inspired people to come together and work together to make your dreams come true," Sabrina read.
The heartfelt eulogy also spoke about Abi’s "emotional intelligence beyond her years" and how she was "always concerned for everyone’s welfare".
At the offertory procession Abi’s diverse interests were reflected – her iPad which she used to watch makeup tutorials and make TikTok videos; a toy dog as Abi loved animals and was set to get her own assistance dog from Dogs for the Disabled and a Garda hat as Abi was made an honorary Garda by the Little Blue Heroes.
Parish Priest, Father John O’Donovan, spoke about how the world was better for Abi’s presence and that she lives on in the hearts of those who knew and loved her.
"Her good deeds go with her. Abi lives on in your hearts and in your souls," he said.
As her white coffin was carried from the church, pink balloons were released into the sky.
Abi was taken to The Island Crematorium, where a guard of honour was formed by members of the Irish Naval Service.
"You showed us how life should be lived and never taken for granted," Abi’s mum wrote.
"You are my daughter and my best friend.
"I love you more than you will ever know and I will continue to love and miss you every day.
"Love you lots like jelly tots."