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Dylan Coady Coleman.
Dylan Coady Coleman

10-year-old boy who died in road accident gave ‘new life and hope’ to others with organ donation, funeral hears

There was a large turnout for Dylan today at a packed Mary Immaculate Church in Shannon.

TEN-YEAR-OLD Shannon schoolboy, Dylan Coady Coleman “has worked five or six miracles by giving new life and hope” to others with the donation of his organs.

That is according to Shannon co-parish priest, Fr Michael Geraghty who made his tribute to “loving child” Dylan at the end of the funeral mass at a packed Mary Immaculate Church in Shannon today to celebrate the life of the “precious member” of the local community.

Dylan died on Wednesday at the Children’s Health Ireland hospital at Temple Street in Dublin from injuries sustained in a tragic road accident in Shannon last Sunday – just one day after Dylan’s mother, Laura, gave birth to his new brother, Shane.

Today, Laura cradled six day old Shane in her arms as she walked behind Dylan’s white coffin up the church aisle to the sound of the Liverpool FC anthem, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ at the start of the funeral mass.

The Liverpool colours were draped over Dylan’s small coffin and the packed church later heard a poignant tribute “Why we love Dylan’ that his young sister, Zoe had put together while he lay in hospital during the week.

Read out to mourners by Claire, Zoe said they love Dylan “because he is the best, because he helps when I’m hurt and because he cares about us”.

Zoe said they love Dylan because he is super funny “and how he reads me books and how he annoys Dad with his quirky ways”.

Zoe wrote “We just love him”.

Family’s wishes

At the mass, mourners complied with the family’s wishes to wear jersey tops and odd socks in tribute to Dylan.

Jerseys presented as symbols of Dylan’s life at the start of the mass included a Liverpool top, an Ireland rugby top and Dylan’s blue Shannon Town soccer jersey.

Other gifts included Dylan’s Xbox controller, a pair of binoculars he used to watch aircraft with, lego and two small cuddly toys.

In his words, co-parish priest for Shannon, Fr Tom Whelan said that “Dylan’s accident and subsequent passing has certainly brought a stop to this parish’.

He said: “It is almost as if a dark cloud just covered Shannon. And the people are most assuredly lost for words and that great sense that all we want to do something has been evident here today and everyday since.”

Fr Whelan said: “All we want to do is to do something to help but sadly we can’t change the reality that is now present.

He said: “There is a huge sense in this community of shock, sadness and loss. Sadness is present everywhere and I found it especially during the week in Dylan’s school, St Tola’s.”

“And I just think of the care and the devotion of all teaching staff to the pupils in their care. It is so obvious in St Tola’s and all of the schools in the Shannon parish. They have such a close bond to the children they are looking after,” he said.

“Certainly when I went into St Tola’s the tears in the eyes of so many teachers on my visit said it all. Their hearts are with you Garry and with Laura and with all of the family.

Fr Whelan said that Dylan was a very normal, very loving child and “there was something very caring about Dylan”.

He sid “there was something easy to attach to – a loving child, so highly regarded in his school”.

Fr Whelan revealed that there was recently a discussion in Dylan’s class about organ donation.

Fr Whelan said that “when Dylan came home that day – that was what he talked about with his family. It really was top of his agenda that day and saying that he would certainly want to be an organ donor. Sadly no one thought that it would happen so, so quickly.

“But Dylan has now given life to a number of other people by being a donor. This is extremely important to his family and they would certainly encourage everyone to think seriously about being an organ donor.”

“The people who know Dylan best are his family and it is parents Garry and Laura who will forever have the most beautiful memories of Dylan.”

Fr Whelan said that the family are grateful for all the support they have received from the Shannon community and are especially grateful of the air ambulance service last Sunday, the support of An Garda Siochana and all those in the health service including staff at Temple Street Hospital.

Dylan’s remains were later laid to rest at the nearby Illaunmanagh Cemetery.

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