Ethan McCourt: Youngster’s organs donated after traffic collision - ‘giving life to six people’

The funeral has taken place of six-year-old Ethan McCourt who was seriously injured in a road traffic collision a week ago.

The collision happened at the Castledawson Road roundabout in Magherafelt, Co Londonderry.

The youngster, from the Toome area, died in hospital as a result of his injuries following the collision on June 20 shortly after 7.45am.

During the service, Ethan’s father Declan, who was involved in the collision, was prayed for continually.

Requiem Mass for Ethan was held in the Church of St. Mary’s in Bellaghy.

It was led by Parish Priest Right Rev Monsignor Andrew Dolan PP VG.

His death notice says the service can be viewed on webcam.

During the homily Rev Dolan said “six people benefitted from Ethan’s organs”.

PACEMAKER BELFAST 28/06/2022 Funeral of 6 yearold Ethan McCourt in Bellaghy this morning Ethan Michael, Aged 6 years, beloved son of Oonagh and Declan, loving grandson of Bernard and Margaret McKenna and Mary and the late Mick McCourt (Slatequarry), nephew of Patrick, Bernard, Michael, John, Stephen, Paul, Eileen (Devlin) and Siobhan (Koumparos).

Rev Dolan said the accident happened “at the end of the school year when children are starting to slow down and look forward to the holidays - but Ethan’s were spent in intensive care”.

“He was attended to so well in the Royal Victoria Hospital’s intensive care unit,” said the cleric.

“Ethan was to pass away on Saturday afternoon at 4.30pm.

“Despite Ethan’s short life he achieved more than most of us will ever achieve as before his passing Ethan’s organs were retrieved and as a consequence six different people’s lives, please God, have been given a new lease of life.

Ethan McCourt from undertakers page

“That was a big decision for Oonagh, but one never to be regretted.”

Referring to his organ donation, Rev Dolan said that “in a sense Ethan will continue to live on through these lives”.

The senior cleric said: “Ethan will always be remembered as the lively inquisitive boy and never grew old”.

Rev Dolan said the vision statement from Saint Mary’s Primary School in Bellaghy (displayed in the church) where Ethan was a Primary Three pupil was that ‘childhood is a unique experience of living - respect it, enjoy it, protect it’.

At the start of the service Rev Dolan also said the “gloomy weather” today was emblematic of how people are “touched always by the death of a child, more so for the parents when they look at their own child and see how precious they are”.

A statement from Saint Mary’s Primary School in Bellaghy, Ethan’s primary school, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Ethan’s mum and dad, Oonagh and Declan,

“Ethan’s Grandparents Margaret and Bernard McKenna, Mary McCourt, and the entire family circle.

“Ethan was a kind, caring, gentle boy and was always a great friend to others.

“He was a bright inquisitive child, with a great love of everything science.

“He was very popular with both staff and pupils alike and will be missed greatly.

“Ethan will always be remembered with great love.

“As a school community, we are truly heart-broken by his untimely loss.

“Ethan’s wide circle of friends and classmates are being supported at this time by staff and relevant professionals.”

In recent days a Tweet from the Bellaghy Wolfetones Gaelic Athletic Club read: “We are devastated to share the news that our underage player Ethan McCourt has sadly passed to his eternal rest following an accident earlier this week.”

A following post adds: “We also keep his father Declan in our thoughts as he receives continued treatment in hospital.”

A post from Bellaghy Primary School Parent Teacher Association adds: "Today, I was so saddened to hear of the passing of six year old Ethan McCourt, a pupil of St. Mary’s Primary School, Bellaghy, following that tragic accident last week.

"I can not begin to imagine the impact of this devastating news on his family and the school community of St. Mary’s.

"As a school family at Bellaghy P.S., we extend our heartfelt sympathy to Ethan’s family circle, his friends and staff members at St. Mary’s P.S."

In a statement the PSNI last night said: "A six-year-old boy has sadly passed away following a one-vehicle collision at the Castledawson Road roundabout in Magherafelt.

"Ethan Michael McCourt from the Bellaghy area died in hospital as a result of his injuries following the collision that occurred on Monday, 20th June shortly after 7.45am.

"The driver of the vehicle remains in hospital at present.

Sergeant Green said: “The collision involved a black Mercedes which collided with the roundabout.

“A full investigation is currently underway and anyone who witnessed the collision or who has dash-cam footage, is asked to contact the Collision Investigation Unit on 101, quoting reference number 324 of 20/06/22.”