Tragedies will res­onate with ev­ery par­ent

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - OPINION - With Dar­ragh Clif­ford

JACK McGrath, Micky Leady, Jack Downey, Jes­sica Moore, Nora Quoirin, Avery Greene. Six young lives trag­i­cally cut short in the space of a week, each story as heart­break­ing as the next. The un­bear­able events of the past week have rocked com­mu­ni­ties right across the coun­try, none more so than the high-pro­file case of Nora Quoirin.

And while the sad deaths of all six chil­dren came about in dif­fer­ent cir­cum­stances, the com­mon thread run­ning through them all is that all six deaths hap­pened at what should have been times of cel­e­bra­tion and joy for the kids in­volved and their fam­i­lies.

Jack McGrath (18) died in a car ac­ci­dent on his way to col­lect fam­ily mem­bers from a wed­ding. Micky Leady (15) died fol­low­ing a fall while on hol­i­days in Spain with his fam­ily. Jack Downey (19) died three days af­ter at­tend­ing a mu­sic fes­ti­val in Cork.

Jes­sica Moore (19) died af­ter fall­ing ill the night of her debs in Gal­way – she was due to col­lect her Leav­ing Cert re­sults the fol­low­ing day.

Nora Quoirin (15) made head­lines around the world af­ter her body was sadly dis­cov­ered in the Malaysian jun­gle, 10 days af­ter she was re­ported miss­ing from a re­sort by her heart­bro­ken fam­ily. Avery Greene (4) died af­ter be­ing found un­con­scious in a swim­ming pool in Spain while on hol­i­days with his fam­ily.

The loss of a child must be one of the hard­est things any adult has to en­dure in their life­time. When that loss is in such a sud­den and un­ex­pected way, as all six of these deaths are, makes it harder again, if such a thing is pos­si­ble.

I count my­self ex­tremely lucky to be the par­ent of two beau­ti­ful chil­dren, aged 4 and

20 months re­spec­tively. The week­end Nora Quoirin went miss­ing, we were start­ing a fam­ily hol­i­day of our own in Ma­jorca. It was a fan­tas­tic week where the kids had a ball. My wife and I were just happy see­ing our kids hav­ing fun – it is what fam­ily hol­i­days are all about.

The only blip on the hol­i­day was a frus­trat­ing de­lay of 26 hours on our flight home. At the time, we thought this was a ma­jor in­con­ve­nience, but in the big­ger scheme of things, it didn’t mat­ter a jot. Yes, it was a bit of has­sle, but what would the six fam­i­lies men­tioned above give to have a prob­lem like this?

These six un­speak­able tragedies will res­onate with ev­ery par­ent in the coun­try. They of­fer a timely re­minder that life is pre­cious, es­pe­cially when chil­dren are in­volved.

We should cher­ish ev­ery minute we have with our kids, we should hug them a lit­tle tighter, we should tell them we love them as of­ten as pos­si­ble.

The late Nora Quoirin.

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