Little Donnacadh Maguire’s infectious energy and spirit were celebrated at his Funeral Mass in St. Eugene’s Cathedral this morning, four days after the six year old’s life was cut tragically short in a horrific accident outside his Tyrconnell Street home on Tuesday.
There were heart-rending scenes this morning as Donnacadh’s family accompanied his tiny white coffin up the aisle, while a flautist played a traditional Irish lament.
Friends, neighbours and class mates from St. Eugene’s Primary School, a mere stone’s throw away in Francis Street, gathered in solidarity with and to share in the unimaginable grief of Donnacadh’s mother and father Sarah and Alan, his brother and sister, Seoirse and Kealan, and his extended family.
They listened in mournful silence to the opening hymn, ‘I Watch The Sunrise’, before chief celebrant Fr. Paul Farren, asked the congregation to join him in saying grace prior to the “meal of Mass”, noting it was the prayer Donnacadh would have said most consistently throughout his short life.
In his homily, Fr. Farren, acknowledged Donnacadh’s death in a tragic accident on Tuesday was baffling and flew in the face of his energy, positivity and vitality.
He said: “It is not fair because there are no answers to so many of the questions and nothing about the past can be changed.”
However, Fr. Farren went on to depict a bubbly six-year-old boy who loved the Power Rangers, loved swimming, loved playing with his friends, and loved school, but loved the summer holidays even more.
“Donnacadh really loved the Power Rangers,” Fr. Farren told mourners. “He knew he was more powerful than they were.”
“He told his mother going to school in the morning that he was bigger than the school and he was bigger than the Cathedral. In so many ways he was right then and he is certainly right today.
“While the Power Rangers are only cartoon creatures in the land of make believe singing about being stronger than before - being powered up for more and soaring to greater heights today, Donnacadh is stronger than before.
“He is bigger than the school and the Cathedral. He has soared to great heights - the heights of heaven.
“His strength comes from being in the heart of God. He will help so many of you and so many other people from now on because of how close he is to God.”
During the Mass, which was concelebrated with Fathers Patrick Lagan and Chris McDermott, four candles were lit around Donnacadh’s little white casket from the same Paschal candle in the Cathedral with which he was baptised only a short few years ago.
His brother Kealan and sister Seoirse laid some of Donnacadh’s favourite toys before the altar while his aunt Kimberley read an emotional tribute to her nephew ‘Donny, God’s Little Angel’.
Donnacadh was carried from the Cathedral to the uplifting strains of ‘Sing Hosanna! (Give Me Joy In My Heart)’ for burial in the City Cemetery, shortly after Fr. Farren had had told mourners: “God will need to be very energetic if he is to match Donnacadh’s energy in heaven.”
He added: “It mightn’t be right to pray today that Donnacadh rests in peace. He didn’t do too much resting. We pray that he will live life to the full with God in heaven for ever and ever. Amen.”