THE life of little Fionn Doyle was described as a miracle by the priest who led his funeral Mass in Kildorrery today.
Seven-year-old Fionn lost his battle against cancer in the early hours of New Year’s Day, with his family by his bedside. His death came after his family were told in May that his illness was terminal.
His parents Jack and Eimear and his sisters Saoirse and Amy wheeled his remains to the altar of St Bartholomew’s Church in Kildorrery, past the Christmas tree in the porch of the church.
Eimear told the congregation that Fionn was “our gorgeous happy chatty little man, our cheeky monkey.”
She said they were lucky to have had someone in their lives that made saying goodbye so hard.
The brave mum first read a poem about the unbreakable cord between mother and child.
Outside the church, Fionn’s schoolmates from Kildorrery National School joined the local scouts to form a guard of honour for the little boy whose final journey was made in a Power Rangers themed coffin.
At the start of Mass, items including a lead for his dog Lightning were brought to the altar by Amy and Saoirse. They also included a Power Rangers figure and an orange notebook because he loved the colour orange and loved stationery. His parents and sisters wore orange tops in recognition of orange as his favourite colour.
His garda badge, presented to him by gardaí at his birthday party last August. His party was attended by gardaí and the fire service after his mother issued an appeal on social media for birthday cards for her terminally ill son.
In response, a large celebration took place at the family's home, and cards arrived to Fionn from all over the world.
The congregation was told that he had been so proud of the Garda badge and it had brought him great joy in his last months.
Local priest Fr Eamonn Kelleher concelebrated the Mass of the Angels with Mitchelstown-based Canon Michael Fitzgerald.
Fr Kelleher had earlier spent time in the Doyle home before Fionn’s remains were removed to St Bartholomew’s church for Mass.
He said Fionn’s short life was a miracle and added that the ceremony was a way of acknowledging “the miracle of Fionn’s life, his beautiful personality, his character.”
Fr Kelleher added that what Fionn’s family had “loved with all your heart has gone”.
He prayed for strength for the family and he said that like Jack and Eimear, Holy Mary “knew the pain of losing a child, what it is like to grieve for a child”.
And he told the grieving family: “If we could bear some of your suffering, we would. You are surrounded by people who care for you and are praying for you and want to help you in any small way they can.
Because of your great love for Fionn, that terrible grief is yours.
You are in our prayers and in our affections and we join our prayers with yours and thank Almighty God for Fionn’s life.”
Fionn’s family had celebrated Christmas early in December as they had not expected him to live until Christmas Day.
The Mass opened with a rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, while Stand by Me was sung as his coffin was brought from the church to be taken by hearse to the Island Crematorium in Ringaskiddy.