herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

'Look after Brandon' plea made at funeral of tragic brothers

A heartbroken relative of two boys who died tragically at their family home asked her big cousin to look after his little brother at their funeral mass.

Fighting back tears, the grief-stricken girl thanked her cousin, 20-year-old Shane Michael Skeffington, for always being there for her.

"I know you will look after Brandon as you always did," she added.

Hundreds of mourners packed St Attracta's Church in Tourlestrane yesterday where they heard how Shane Michael and his little brother, Brandon, had been "great buddies".

As the coffins of the boys were brought from their family home to the church, friends of the older brother formed a guard of honour while all wearing blue, Shane Michael's favourite colour.

Together

A prayer for the boys was read on behalf of their parents, Shane and Carmel, and siblings Sharon (15) and three-year-old Callum. It spoke of how the two boys would be forever together and never forgotten.

Local parish priest Fr John Glynn told the congregation of Shane Michael's love of cars, of music and of spending time with his younger brother. He recalled nine-year-old Brandon as being "larger than life. A boy full of energy with a heart of gold".

He told how the third class student had been fond of reading The Simpson's comics in the classroom, hiding them under schoolbooks away from the eyes of teachers.

Friends

Among the gifts brought to the altar to remember the two brothers was a football and a Transformer toy.

Fr Glynn told the congregation how the two brothers would often play football together, and had bought the ball during one of their many trips in Shane Michael's car.

"They were great friends, they would head off sometimes and make journeys in the car," he added.

Fr Glynn told the congregation that while they were gathered in sadness there was also so much goodness, which was evident in the community over the last few days.

"Our sympathies go out to the Skeffington family on the death of Shane Michael and Brandon. It might seem a very bare statement to make, but words are difficult for us all at this time," said Fr Glynn.

Family

Speaking of the tragedy that befell the family on Sunday last, Fr Glynn added: "What happened? What happened is that Brandon and Shane Michael died.

"Shane and Carmel's family are all very sad. That's what happened and really we don't know much more.

"We might speculate and wonder and read reports of what people think might have happened. But in the end it comes down to what death is and what sadness is."

Asking what we might learn from the tragedy, he added: "Probably, as usual, very little."

Tragedy befell the family last Sunday when Shane and Carmel Skeffington found Brandon fatally wounded from a stab wound in the family home. Their horror was exacerbated when they discovered Shane Michael dead in a shed behind the house.

He had taken his own life after stabbing his younger brother. A post mortem revealed that nine-year-old Brandon died after being stabbed in the chest by his older brother Shane Michael, who then hanged himself.

hnews@herald.ie

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