herald

Monday 5 December 2016

'I still recall holding on to his little hand'

Carmel with Ross’s photo
Carmel with Ross’s photo

After lighting a candle and placing a card with the name "Ross Redmond" on the symbolic tree, Carmel Ridgeway made her way quietly back to her pew in St Michan's Church.

Clutched to her heart was a photograph of her grandson, who was killed by a car as he played with friends in Raheny 16 years ago.

In the picture, little Ross is smiling.

"He was six years old and four months. A beautiful child, and friends with everyone," Carmel said with both pride and sadness after the Mass had ended.

"He got knocked down while playing with his pals. It was as simple as that.

Adored

"He was friends with everyone. I used to mind him a lot when my daughter Fiona was at work, so we were very close.

"We adored him," she said.

"I can still remember holding his little hand all the time, and I'm glad I can remember that...there was something about his little chubby fingers," she added.

"If I was in the kitchen he would be sitting in the armchair in the living room, and he would say to me 'Hey Nana, I really love you'.

"When he would be going home with his mam he would always give us the thumbs-up." Ross died from his head injuries in Beaumont Hospital a few days after being hit.

Carmel, who was in America at the time visiting her son, said she hoped that by the time she had rushed home Ross would be recovering.

"But then I saw him in the intensive care in Beaumont. It was terrible," she explained.

"The poor little pet. His mother slept beside him every night, hoping, but it wasn't to be.

"We were all there with him when he passed away.

"Events like this Mass are important because it means people are not forgotten, and that's very important.

"You are also surrounded by people who have had a similar experience to yours, and you get that comforting feeling that you are not alone," said Carmel, who was supported at the Mass by her brother Tommy.

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