THIRTEEN-year-old Sean Tyrrell from Blackrock was made an honorary Garda on Sunday with a parade from emergency services.
Sean was born with Down Syndrome and major heart problems and after a difficult few years and a very difficult Christmas, his family were looking forward to the honorary Garda event, as part of the Little Blue Heroes initiative.
In keeping with public health guidelines, Gardaí in Blackrock surprised Sean with a drive-by celebration to honour him.
They were joined by garda dogs and a convoy of other emergency services as part of the gesture from Gardaí in honour of Sean’s bravery.
Sean’s siblings, Denise, Mark and Sinead all joined him in watching the parade from the house, that was kitted-out with flags and bunting.
Neighbours also enjoyed the spectacle in honour of Sean and his father, Brendan Tyrrell gave a special thanks to all of their neighbours and his own siblings who have helped them over the past eleven years since his wife passed away.
He gave a special thank you to neighbour and Godmother to Sean, Christine Foley who “truly took him [Sean] under her wing”.
Currently, the family do not know how much time they have left with Sean but after a difficult year, they were grateful to have the chance to celebrate the special gesture from Gardaí.
“It’s a bit of a buzz. A bit of a buzz to brighten us all up and give us something to smile, cheer and laugh about,” said Sean’s father, Brendan Tyrrell.
“A lot of people have said that it’s great to hear and it is good news. A bit of excitement and good news.”
When Sean was born, Brendan and his wife, Bernadette were told that he had major heart problems and when he was just two and a half years old, Bernadette sadly passed away from cancer.
With her anniversary in early January, Christmas can often be a difficult time, but this year was particularly hard as both Sean and Brendan contracted Covid-19.
However, Sean has always defied the odds by continuing to battle his issues for much longer than doctors had expected, and the virus was no different.
“With everything he’s after going through, he came out the better side of it, thank God,” said Brendan Tyrrell.
Mr Tyrrell said that he suspects Sean will be very happy with his new title as an honorary Garda and has been practising his salute with him over the past few days.
“It means a lot. For us, it’s a bit of a buzz really and excitement,” he added.