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Ballinkillen community grieves for Chada brothers

By Sarah Mac Donald - 03 August, 2013

Loss of Eoghan and Ruairí will be felt long into the future says parish priest.

The funeral of Eoghan and Ruairí Chada. Pic courtesy RTE.

The funeral of Eoghan and Ruairí Chada. Pic courtesy RTE

They gathered in great sadness to recall two much loved brothers and to acknowledge the deep wounds of grief carried by the Chada family and the local community.

Speaking as he began Requiem Mass for Eoghan and Ruairí Chada in Ballinkillen, Co Carlow, Fr Declan Foley said the deaths had “stunned” the whole community.

The two much loved little brothers were taken in white coffins from their home to St Lazerian’s church where their grandmother is a sacristan.

Kildare & Leighlin Bishop-elect, Fr Denis Nulty, concelebrated the Mass with parish priest, Fr Foley.

In his introductory words, Fr Foley said he wished to “celebrate in great joy, the lives of two beautiful boys who gave so much happiness to their parents, Kathleen and Sanjeev.”

He said that he wanted to remember the joy and energy and life they brought to their families, their school, Ballinkillen and Fenagh GAA Clubs, Nurney Soccer Club and the local community.

The community of Ballinkillen, Fr Foley underlined, had suffered a loss that would be felt long into the future.

Citing the Gospel words of Jesus as he died, ‘My God, My God, why have you deserted me’, Fr Foley said these words took on a whole new meaning for the family on Monday afternoon when confirmation came through from Westport of the deaths of Eoghan and Ruairí.

“All of us who were gathered with Kathleen and family shared in such an outpouring of grief, it felt as if the earth had quaked and the house had shook.”

In his homily, Fr Foley said that for many, the death of a child, and in particular the sudden and tragic death of the boys was beyond comprehension and almost impossible to put into words. But, he added, “to remain silent would do Eoghan and Ruairí a disservice.”

In their short few years, they achieved so much, lived with such energy and intensity, brought such joy and happiness to their Mam and Dad, and Ballinkillen community – and the parish priest said all that needed to be celebrated.

“We have all become familiar in recent days with the lovely photograph of the two boys, portraying a beautiful image of closeness and love. This picture manifests perfectly their relationship. This gives us a picture of two little boys who lived life to the full and who embraced every day with energy and were full of love and happiness,” he said.

Fr Foley reminded the congregation that the Gospel tells us that “the Lord has a special place in his heart for little children, and I have no doubt that they are now enjoying new life with Him in heaven.”

Symbols of the boys’ lives and interests were presented during the procession of symbols, including a hurley and ball, a toy tractor, a cookbook, a golf club, a bicycle and a photograph of the boys.

A guard of honour was provided by Eoghan and Ruairí’s team mates from the local hurling, football and soccer clubs.

The two brothers were laid to rest in the cemetery adjoining Saint Lazerian’s church.

By Sarah Mac Donald

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