herald

Friday 23 February 2018

Heartbroken dad of Abigael (3) attends funeral in a wheelchair

Abigael Conlon’s coffin is carried out of church, followed by her father, Colm, in a wheelchair
Abigael Conlon’s coffin is carried out of church, followed by her father, Colm, in a wheelchair

The father of a little girl killed in a tragic traffic accident last week attended her funeral yesterday in a wheelchair and wearing a cast.

Abigael Conlon (3) died after a head-on crash in Co Kildare, as she was being driven to a creche by her father, Colm.

Locals were able to keep the blonde toddler alive until emergency services arrived, but nothing could be done to save her life.

Tiny

Yesterday, hundreds of mourners poured into the Church of Mary Immaculate, Inchicore, to offer solidarity and sympathy to her family.

As her tiny, white coffin was carried into the church, her grief-stricken father followed behind in a wheelchair and arm cast - a result of the crash.

Fr Aquin Casey, who delivered the Mass, said it was important to celebrate the joys Abigael brought to everyone that knew her.

"Today is a day of great difficulty and sadness," he said.

"However, Abigael lived her life to the full and lived such a happy life.

"While it is only natural to be sad and heartbroken, it would be a great injustice to Abigael not to be grateful and celebrate her life.

"Abigael lived every day and every moment in the present.

"She was loved and cherished in life by two wonderful parents, Amy and Colm," Fr Casey added.

A blue teddy bear and yellow blanket were taken to the altar as symbols of Abigael's innocence.

Several children's books were also laid near her coffin, along with a touching picture of the little girl.

Taken in happy times, Abigael's angelic smile and beautiful blonde hair seemed to have a consoling effect on those in attendance.

Many mourners travelled from Cork to pay their respects to the family, who are from Fermoy.

Several members representing Fermoy Rowing Club, who wore their official jackets, attended the Mass.

As the funeral concluded, a solo vocalist filled the church with a poignant hymn.

Mourners struggled to hold themselves together as the small child's coffin was carried out of the church.

Little Abigael was then laid to rest in Newland's Cross Cemetery.

She was the only child of Colm and Amy.

Rushed

Locals have expressed their heartbreak for the family.

Their car was travelling towards Kilcullen, while the Jeep involved in the collision was heading for Brannockstown.

The crash happened on a winding stretch of narrow road that included hills and dips, and locals have been critical of its condition.

There have been several bad crashes on the road and it was "like a skating rink" on the morning of the crash, according to locals.

Abigael was rushed to Naas Hospital and later transferred to Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin, but lost her battle for life on Sunday.

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