THE uncle of Loughanure teenager, Conor Boyle, who was laid to rest yesterday, said while he was not ‘the biggest man, he had a big heart’.
Daniel Boyle, was speaking at St Mary’s Star of the Sea Church in Annagry, of his nephew who died on September 20 at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, two weeks after suffering serious injuries in a car crash on the A1 north of Peterborough.
The funeral was one of the largest ever seen in the area and reflected the widespread shock felt by the community and the esteem in which the family are held. Despite, the heartbreaking sadness, local people put on a brave face and gave the young Loughanure man a great send off.
There was a constant flow of mourners at the family home in the Gaeltacht village of Loughanure over the weekend after his remains arrived at noon on Friday. His grieving parents Hugh and Sheila, and brothers Liam, James, Darragh, Shane and Owen were comforted throughout by relatives and close friends.
One of the largest funeral corteges ever to leave Loughanure made its way along the Glen Road to the church in Annagry where hundreds of mourners had already assembled. Guards of honour by the Naomh Mhuire GAA Club, Rosses Boxing Club and many other friends and associates of 18 years old Conor lined the path to the church where chief celebrant Fr John Britto received the remains.
Conor’s uncle, Daniel Boyle described his as a ‘great lad, a real sportsman and a hard worker’. He spoke of how Conor was trending on Twitter all over the world during his illness and even how Pope Francis had offered prayers for him during his illness.
He paid tribute to everyone who was there for the family since word broke of Conor’s accident, adding it was a great comfort for the family.
“Conor was loved by everyone who knew him. He might not have been the biggest man but he had a big heart,” he added.
Conor’s favourite saying was “some man me”, and he’d have every reason to repeat that if he could see the huge turnout at his funeral. One of the songs sang in church was “The Working Man” – signifying Conor’s work in the tunnels in London .
Chief celebrant Fr John Britto spoke of the huge impact Conor’s death had on the entire community and the terrible grief visited upon his parents, siblings and his extended family circle and friends.
“It has been a very difficult few weeks for his family and for everyone. I have seen great community spirit in this small parish, everyone has been there for each other at this difficult time from very young to very old. The coming together of all ages at this time of grief has really touched my heart.”