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Sadness as tragic 11 year old is laid to rest

THE eleven-year-old Churchill boy who died following a tragic accident on his grand-uncle’s farm at the weekend was laid to rest on Wednesday morning.

Crockraw native Jamie Toner’s funeral mass was held at St Colmcille’s Church, Glendowan, where a large congregation gathered.

In his homily, Fr Michael McKeever told the mourners, who had even gathered outside the church, it was a ‘desperate day in the parish, but God has a new angel to watch over us’.

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Fr McKeever said the community had given the Toner family strong support all week. “The vast numbers of people who have visited the Toner home over the last number of days should give strength to Jamie’s family,” he said.

“Our consolation will be the joyful memories that we have of him. He was a lovely young fellow who was never short of a word or two.

“Every time that I would meet him, I often braced myself and wondered ‘what is he going to say’ when he would greet me at the door of the chapel.

“But one thing I would say is that you would always come away with a smile on your face. What he had to say was good, and it was a child talking. He was talking from his heart because he said what he thought,” said Fr McKeever.

A fifth class pupil at Stramore National School in Glendowan, Jamie’s school friends formed a guard of honour as his remains were brought inside the church before mass.

Fr McKeever told the congregation how popular Jamie was at school and read from a card left in the wake room written by one of his class mates.

“Dear Jamie, you have been my best friend from first class. We loved playing football, farming and soccer. But we mostly played pass in school. Now every time I play in football and score, it’s for you. I will miss you forever, you’re my best buddy – Caoimhe.”

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Jamie was a keen athlete and the jerseys of his own clubs, Termon GAA and Kilmacrennan Celtic, as well as his favourite team Manchester United were on display at the wake, while his Termon tam mates formed a guard of honour after the funeral mass.

Fr McKeever told mourners to hold on to the memories of young Jamie. “When you’re feeling a little down on a particular day, think of something that you remember of Jamie and that will help, because he’s with you.”

Jamie passed away at Letterkenny General Hospital on Saturday. His tragic death was as a result of the injuries sustained after an accident involving a tractor at a farm in the Glenvar area near Kerrykeel earlier that day. He was freed by emergency services and rushed to Letterkenny General after the accident where he was later pronounced dead.

Jamie is survived by his parents Jimmy and Roshine (nee Friel) Toner and older sister, Lynn (14). Almost a year to the day the congregation were gathered at St Colmcille’s Church for the funeral mass of Jamie’s grandfather, Jimmy Toner.

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