Funeral of teen killed in a quad bike crash held in Portlaoise

David Brown (15) died on Easter Saturday following an incident involving a quad bike in a wooded area near Ballyshanduff, Co Laois
Funeral of teen killed in a quad bike crash held in Portlaoise

Sarah Slater

The funeral of a rising GAA star “who lived his life with an adventurous spirit” took place in Portlaoise on Friday.

David Brown (15) died in a quad bike crash at a wooded area near Ballyshanduff, Ballybrittas, in Co Laois on Easter Sunday.

A second teenager was brought to Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore following the incident, but gardaí said his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

A green and white jersey lay across David's coffin as it was brought into St Peter and Paul’s Church in Portlaoise.

Ray Meredith led a narration of the symbols of the teenager’s life, which included a hurley, helmet and the jersey he wore while playing for Laois in their Celtic Challenge game against Kildare the day before his death.

David's cousin Johnny carried a toy dog, representing the teen's love of animals, and the congregation was told that one of the last phone calls he made was to his mother, Carmel, to ensure the family dog was fed.

His mother told mourners: “On behalf of James [David's father] and myself, I want to say what a privilege and honour it is to be a parent of three beautiful children. It is a wonderful gift and an honour to be parents to Conor, to David and to Sarah.

“David lived his life with an adventurous spirit and being a parent to David was also an adventure. His kindness, his sense of humour and one of greatest his traits was his destiny for life was always there. As David’s mother, I always tried to be one step ahead of him and the learned skill of having a teenager and asking him to do the opposite of what I really wanted him to do.

“The great memories we have of David will hopefully carry me through.”

Parish Priest Monsignor John Murphy said the large number gathered for the funeral was a testament to David.

“It speaks volumes about the sad occasion that has gathered us together.

“It is also a testament to the desire of so many who want to do what they can to support James and Carmel, Conor and Sarah, and the extended Brown and Moloney families at this most difficult time.


“Losing a child is a tragedy that no parent should have to experience and losing a brother so young and so sad for Conor and Sarah,” Fr Muphy added.

“A family unit is wrenched asunder. A family unit is brokenhearted and the grief that follows for a family is profound and long-lasting.

“David as we all know was a gifted young man, a gifted sportsman leading to so much speculation amongst his team mates, his mentors, his club, Portlaoise GAA and county officials as to what may be, looking forward to his progression.

“His loss is greatly felt by his teammates and indeed the wider community. His death is a reminder to us all as to how fragile life can be and how important it is to cherish every moment with our loved ones.”

Fr Murphy continued: “It is a special reminder to us all to mind and take care of each other, particularly in these days when grief is so raw for so many.

“There won’t be a day for the rest of their lives that those who loved David in this life won’t think about him, and while these thoughts now are painful, we pray and hope that time will help that pain to be relieved by the good memories. That the pain of loss will be lightened by the blessing to have had him in our lives.”

David's coffin was carried from the Church by six pallbearers while the song Forever Young was played.

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