Tributes

Tributes paid to brave Dundalk boy Daragh McNally on anniversary

Tributes

Michelle O’Keeffe

Reporter:

Michelle O’Keeffe

Tribute paid to brave Dundalk boy Daragh McNally on anniversary

Tribute paid to brave Dundalk boy Daragh McNally one year on

People have paid tribute to brave Dundalk boy Daragh McNally on the first anniversary of his sad passing.

The courageous 11-year-old, from the Avenue Road in town tragically lost his battle with cancer last November.

And on the first anniversary of his tragic death the community lit up social media blue with hearts and balloons to remember the brave local lad.

The little boy’s mum Colleen asked people to light Facebook up blue to pay tribute to their hero Daragh, who had autism, as they were unable to have an anniversary mass due to Covid-19 restrictions.

And people responded in their troves remembering Daragh who had touched so many people’s lives by posting blue balloons and hearts online to pay tribute to him and to raise awareness about autism.

Colleen posted a poignant tribute on Facebook on Monday saying: “Daragh.... one year gone today our beloved son and brother.

“It feels like one week, the pain is still so raw.

“We miss you more and more.

“Time doesn’t heal, you just have to learn to live with the pain.

“Daragh you were too good for this world.

“That we know in our hearts.

“You were most definitely an angel on earth and now in Heaven.

“We miss your laugh, your tears, your colourful behaviour and your cuddles.

“We simply miss you.. our beautiful special boy.

“All specialists told us that children with autism find it difficult to express emotions.

“That was not true with you, cos you really and truly taught us what love is.

“Thank you for teaching us the real meaning of life, which is to love, to enjoy and to be yourself no matter what.”

Daragh passed away at Crumlin Children's Hospital on November 24th 2019, just five weeks after being diagnosed with an aggressive lymphoma.

The youngster, who had autism, was delighted when his service dog Lenny won the national Nose of Tralee award in 2017 for helping him cope with behavioural issues and get him outside on a daily basis.

His mum said on the first anniversary of his passing: “Watch over us, your Daddy, your Mammy, your brother Nathan and your two little sisters Naoise and Layla. And not forgetting Lenny.

“We love you so so much.

“As we can have no mass today due to Covid, we ask you all to light Facebook up Blue again please.

“Remember Daragh today. Our Hero.”

Colleen also posted a touching video of Daragh enjoying happier times with his family and thanked their dear friend Michael for singing the song that accompanied it.