A new series ‘Tocht na Máthar’ starting on TG4 next week examines how mothers cope when the worst happens to their children.
The five-part series, which shows that there can be life after loss and hope from tragedy, features Loughanure woman Mary Logue discussing the death of her young son Erin from a rare form of cancer.
A pupil in Scoil Eoin Pól, Loch an Iúir, Erin died on October 4, 2008. He was nine years old.
“Eoin was a brave little boy who was full of life and amazing courage. When I was approached to take part in the series I thought that if I could help anyone else realise that there’s light at the end of what is a very long, dark tunnel then it would be worthwhile. A day doesn’t go by when we don’t think about Erin but we chose to celebrate his life rather than mourn his death.
“People say that time is a healer but you never, ever get over the death of a child. The hurt is always there – the sadness – but you have to get on with it. It becomes part of life but it’s important that you don’t allow it to consume your entire life,” Mary said.
Erin battled a rare cancerous brain tumour for the last two years of his life. His illness was one of only three of its kind seen by his surgeon in the past 20 years.
The youngest son of Mary and Michael Logue, Erin has two brothers Dáire and Caolán.
When the tumour was first diagnosed, Erin was treated in Letterkenny University Hospital and then the Beaumont where he underwent an operation, followed by chemotherapy and radiation.
“Once the treatment stopped in the summer of 2007 Erin went back to school and while he had a limp his quality of life was quite good. He was very well looked after by his teachers and he quickly became one of the gang,” Mary said.
“Looking back on it though, deep down, I knew from day one that the prognosis wasn’t that good,” she added.
Earlier this year the TG4 cameras spoke to Mary, her good friend Veronica Burns, Erin’s best friend Eugene Byrne, Dr Martin Brennan, Fr Brian O’Fearraigh, School principal Mairead Sweeney and Make A Wish volunteers Eileen O’Donnell and Carmel McHugh for the new series.
“Thanks to the Make a Wish Foundation Erin became a knight in shining armour and rescued a golden Labrador in Donegal town castle a few months before he died. That dog Bonnie was with us until March of this year.
“Last year his friends called around to the house to celebrate Erin’s eighteenth birthday. He hasn’t been forgotten. At his funeral they sang Somewhere over the Rainbow. That became his song and the sight of a rainbow always brings back lovely memories,” she said.
“He was such a wee fighter and kept going until the very end,” she added.
Mary Logue is featured in the second programme (TG4, June 13).
In the first episode on Wednesday, June 6, 9.30pm Bridget McAnallen tells the tragic story of her son, Cormac McAnallen, who died suddenly in his bed on March 2, 2004. Cormac was only 24 years old and was captain of the All-Ireland winning Tyrone Senior Football Team the year before his death.