Sunday 17 December 2017

Family's grief as boy (2) who drowned on farm is buried

A BUNCH of green balloons were released into the sky as a community "bereft of words" laid to rest one of their youngest - two-year-old David Roche.

The little boy, from Mountcollins in West Limerick, died last Sunday after drowning in a container of water at the family farm, just days after his little sister Kate was brought home following her birth.

It's believed there was only about a foot of water in the container. He was found by a family member seconds later and was rushed to University Hospital Limerick, but he was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.


The devastated rural community packed into the Church of the Assumption to remember the little boy who loved nothing better than working outdoors with his father Micheal.

Gifts were placed beside his small white coffin, including a bottle of bubbles, symbolising his free spirit and thirst for adventure and a toy tractor and book on farm machinery to symbolise his love of farming and the outdoors.

"He loved farming and being outdoors. He was a chip off the old block," said a family spokesperson.

David's mother Brigid gave birth to daughter Kate 10 days ago. However, the family's joy 
at the arrival of their first daughter turned to sudden horror at the tragic loss of their son.

Very Rev William O'Gorman, chief celebrant at the Mass of the Angels, supported by 
Fr Daithi Kennelly, Tournafulla, told David's heartbroken parents: "At times like this 
our faith is challenged. David in his young life was a saint, 
and now he is a saint in heaven. Today we are here to honour this young, innocent, roguish boy."

Fr O'Gorman said the local community was in "deep shock".

Fr Kennelly stated the community was "bereft of words".

"We feel helpless, because we'd like to say (something), but what can we say? Everyone feels a deep sadness, and, if that's true of us, then how much more it is true for you," he said.

The family offered blessings for the ambulance paramedics, nurses and doctors, who tried to save their little boy.

Poignantly, a bag of bread was also placed beside David's coffin to symbolise his daily routine of feeding the crows at the family farm.


"He had a love of animals and he made sure the highest standards were applied when it 
came to quality control. He would taste test the bread every time before giving it to the crows," a family spokesperson said with a wry smile.

Balloons, with tributes and messages of love written by loved ones and friends we're let go into the sky, as David's remains were buried at Mountcollins Cemetery.


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