Com­mu­nity in grief as lit­tle Ol­lie laid to rest

Gorey Guardian - - NEWS -

THERE was a pal­pa­ble feel­ing of sad­ness in Mon­amolin last Fri­day.

The many bro­ken hearts of Wex­ford made their way to St Mol­ing’s Church with griev­ing par­ents Jane and Barry Dempsey, who said their last good­bye to young son Ol­lie at the Mass of the An­gels.

There was wide­spread shock when news broke that Ol­lie, who was just three years old, passed away un­ex­pect­edly in Wex­ford Gen­eral Hospi­tal on Tues­day af­ter he sud­denly fell ill.

Dis­traught par­ents Jane and Barry held each other tight as they walked be­hind the lit­tle white cof­fin with Ol­lie’s sib­lings Eoghan (13), Aish­ling (10) and six-month-old Dar­ragh into the church as mu­si­cians Aoife Parle and Gail Mur­phy played ‘An­gel’ by Sarah McLach­lan.

There were flashes of the colour red from the fam­ily who wore Liver­pool scarves for Ol­lie, while Jane and Barry had red jumpers with Ol­lie’s favourite char­ac­ter on it from the show Paw Pa­trol.

The lit­tle church in Mon­amolin was packed, with many stand­ing out­side lis­ten­ing to the beau­ti­ful cer­e­mony. Younger mem­bers of the O’Con­nor and Dempsey fam­i­lies brought up lit­tle sou­venirs and gifts of Ol­lie’s. As the song ‘True Colours’ played, each one placed the gifts on the al­tar, which in­cluded Ol­lie’s soc­cer ball, his drink­ing bot­tle, a SpongeBob SquarePants gui­tar and a Spi­der Man mask.

Re­tired priest from Kil­muck­ridge Fr James Ham­mel said some com­fort­ing words dur­ing his homily to Jane, Barry, and the rest of the fam­ily mem­bers.

Fr Ham­mel said: ‘We grieve with Jane and Barry and pray for Jane and Barry. It is such a heavy bur­den and heart­break.

‘When we say good­bye to some­one we die a lit­tle on the in­side, and as Jane and Barry say good­bye to lit­tle three-year-old Ol­lie a part of them dies too, a part of all of us dies.

‘The pain we feel, and Jane and Barry feel, is greater than hav­ing a sore head or a part of our body.

‘It won’t go away for them but they have their fam­ily, friends and good neigh­bours to help them get through this time of need.’

Lit­tle Ol­lie’s cousins, aunts and un­cles each got up and read the prayers of the faith­ful. Each one con­tained a lovely mes­sage about how they will miss him and will never for­get him.

At the end, they thanked ev­ery­one for their sup­port and to the staff at Wex­ford Gen­eral Hospi­tal.

Older sib­lings Eoghan and Ais­ling, Barry’s chil­dren, brought up the bread and the wine to Fr Ham­mel and the mu­si­cians played ‘Over the Rain­bow’ and ‘The Rose’.

Two fam­ily mem­bers, Katie and Paula, stood up at the al­tar and read a re­flec­tion. They read the prayer ‘Now I lay me down to sleep’, which Ol­lie used to say ev­ery night be­fore go­ing to bed.

Af­ter this, Jane and Barry bravely got up to say a few words about Ol­lie at the end of the fu­neral cer­e­mony. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place when they spoke of their great mem­o­ries.

‘Only last week he still had us singing Christ­mas songs,’ said Jane. ‘And ev­ery time we got a word wrong he would make us start from the be­gin­ning.’

She also said Ol­lie was ‘the first to make baby Dar­ragh laugh’ and how he ‘loved his vis­its to Nanny to bake some brown bread’.

Af­ter his par­ents’ trib­ute, the mu­si­cians played some of Ol­lie’s favourite Christ­mas songs as Jane said it was one of the last things they did with him.

Jane, Barry, Eoghan, Aish­ling, baby Dar­ragh and the fam­ily mem­bers took their fi­nal walk with Ol­lie to Liver­pool’s an­them ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. A big crowd fol­lowed them as they made their way to the ad­join­ing ceme­tery.

The fu­neral of Ol­lie Dempsey in Mon­amolin last Fri­day.

The fu­neral of Ol­lie Dempsey in Mon­amolin last Fri­day.

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