The funeral of a young boy who died in a tragic hurling accident in Kilkenny has heard he was a “kind, gentle and warm spirit” who loved his family and friends.
13-year-old Harry Byrne died in St Luke’s Hospital on Tuesday after he was struck by a sliotar at his school, St Kieran's College.
At his funeral service this afternoon, his aunt Emma said Harry, “enjoyed many fun and adventurous times with his family, whom he loved so very much.”
“Harry had a fantastic sense of humour and loved nothing more than a well-executed practical joke,” she said.
“Our beautiful Harry touched and will always touch our hearts with his kind, gentle and warm spirit.”
A large crowd was expected at the funeral at the Church of the Assumption in Gowran this afternoon, with his classmates due to attend alongside his family.
Father Dermot Ryan said there are no words of comfort on a day like today.
“When someone dies – especially when someone dies so young and unexpectedly there is literally nothing we can say,” he said.
“There are no words that will ease this pain. All we are left with is questions and hurt. What we do then this morning when words fail us is offer you our support just by our presence.”
He said the Kilkenny community in Kilkenny has been left "bereft" by the death.
“When the accident happened on Monday last, Harry at that very moment was with his closest friends doing what he loved,” he said.
“Surrounded by them, chatting with them, being with them. Hurling with them, joking with them and laughing with them.
“Then, so suddenly and unexpected, his death on Tuesday has left us bereft.”
Harry is survived by his parents Fergal and Annette, his siblings Jake, Aimee and Sam and much cherished grandparents Teresa, Martin and Mary.