THE devastated parents of a young boy who died in a horrific car crash last month have spoken about how their “little angel is looking after us now”.
Ciaran Treacy (4) died after the crash that left his mother Gillian with serious injuries.
The heartbroken mum and husband Ronan have now spoken movingly of their loss and of their gratitude that their community has rallied around with a campaign they hope can keep their son’s memory alive and help others.
The nightmare collision occurred on April 17 near the family hometown of Portarlington, Co Laois, with Gillian left so badly injured she was on a stretcher for Ciaran’s funeral four days later.
She was taken straight to Tallaght Hospital afterwards where she had eight operations in 28 days.
She said being unable to grieve together as a family was “absolutely horrendous”. Gillian, who is wheelchair-bound, finally returned home late last week.
She was taking her boys home from their grandparents’ house when tragedy struck.
Ciaran’s older brother Sean (7) and the driver of the second car escaped the collision with minor injuries.
She said she had just promised to make pancakes for Ciarán. “The last words he probably would have said were Wow, we are going to have pancakes’,” she recalled.
Gillian said Ciaran idolised his older brother Sean and was extremely close to his little sister Caoimhe (2).
“She knows that he’s not around and she knows he is in heaven. We have to keep positive for the other two, that’s the only thing keeping us going.
“Our hearts are broken, the only glue that is keeping our hearts together is the kids”.
Echoing those sentiments, Ronan said: “We have a little angel looking after us now, that’s the only difference”.
On top of the pain of losing a child, the Treacys - who are self-employed and lease a shop and filling station in Portarlington - are now facing mounting medical bills, the loss of an income stream and costs associated with adapting their home and catering for Gillian’s future medical needs.
The community has rallied around the family and set up the Ciaran Treacy Family Support Fund(CTFSF) which will be holding a series of events in the coming weeks.
It’s hoped the campaign can assist the family as they try to pick up the pieces following the tragedy, with CTFSF chairman Padraig Briody saying that the community can’t change what has happened, they want to help.
The hope is that the fund will continue into the future to assist other families in the locality should similar tragedies occur.
Ronan said he initially turned down the offer of help as he was anxious to look after his own affairs.
But due to the enormity of the challenge ahead he reached the inevitable conclusion that the help was needed.
“Both Gillian and myself, we are just totally bowled over by the sense of community in Portarlington,” he said.