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Mourners carry a coffin bearing the remains of Mikey and Thelma Dennany into St Mel’s Cathedral, Longford PA
multyfarnham

Siblings who died in Westmeath car fire were 'inseparable in life', funeral mass told

Gardaí continue to investigate ‘all of the circumstances’ of their deaths.

LAST UPDATE | Sep 15th 2022, 12:49 PM

THE FUNERAL OF two children who died in a car fire in Co Westmeath last Friday took place this morning.

Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral mass for two-year-old Mikey Dennany and five-year-old Thelma Dennany, which began at 11am in St Mel’s Cathedral, Longford. A burial will take place afterwards in Cullyfad Cemetery.

Parish priest of Killoe Father Sean Casey told those gathered in the cathedral that Mikey and Thelma’s lives were “tragically cut short in the full bloom and promise of childhood”.

He prayed for “the comfort and consolation” of their parents Michael and Lynn, and for their brother and sister Eddie and Katelyn, “all of whom are weighed down by sorrow”.

He also prayed for the children’s friends in the preschool in Rathowen that Mikey attended, and at St Cremin’s National School in Multyfarnham, where Thelma was in senior infants.

“We do not know how these tragedies occurred, what happened on that lonely road on Saturday. We commend all that to the Lord. We know that they were deeply loved and are deeply loved by their parents, by their aunts and uncles, relatives and friends and by all who mourn their passing,” Fr Casey said.

Symbols of Mikey and Thelma’s lives were presented to the altar. A piece of art created by Mikey with his picture in the corner was brought forward alongside artwork that Thelma had completed to represent their love of art. A collage created by the school in her memory was also brought forward by her teacher.

Two new fishing rods that the siblings never got to use were also presented to the altar by their aunt and uncle to represent their love of water. Those gathered heard that they were “excited and looking forward to trying them out in the lakes and in the rivers of County Westmeath”.

Fr Casey, who baptised both of the siblings, told mourners that Mikey and Thelma were “vibrant and creative children”.

“As the symbols that were brought up indicate to us, they loved artwork. They loved to scribble and they loved to paint,” he said.

“They were inseparable in life. In the words of their dad Michael, the only thing that separated them was school as they went their separate ways each morning.

“Thelma attended dancing classes and football training, and Mikey always came to watch her training from the sideline. But on Saturday week last, he ventured onto the pitch for the first time to join her in the sport she loved.

They loved to run and laugh and feel the wind in their hair and to pick wildflowers. They looked forward to trying out their new fishing rods. They are together now exploring the highways and byways of heaven.

He said Mikey and Thelma will remain “forever young in the hearts of their parents and brother and sister.

“In quiet times, they will sense their presence, consoling them with memories of golden days in the past. And with the promise of togetherness in that place, where there is no more pain or sorrow. Or all tears are wiped away.”

Those gathered heard that the siblings had a unique relationship with the teachers and staff of their respective school and preschool.

“Teachers have a unique relationship with their students. They look on them as their own, they hold them in their hearts and in their prayers, and they with the family are grieving solely today,” Fr Casey said.

“All of us here join in mourning to express our sympathy and support for the grieving family.”

Before the service came to an end, Fr Casey read a statement on behalf of Mikey and Thelma’s family. 

“We the family would like to thank everyone for helping us to say farewell to Thelma and Mikey. We use farewell because with the memories they left us through their short lives and their infectious smiles, they will be with us forever,” the statement read.

“Your heartfelt sympathy and offers of help have touched us greatly at this very difficult time. Once again, we thank you all.”

Local priest, Father John O’Brien, of the Franciscan friary in the village, said this week that there is “a deep feeling of sadness” in Multyfarnham.

Speaking to Morning Ireland, he said: “There’s an overwhelming feeling of sadness, disbelief and not being able to find words yet.

“From a very quiet place, all of a sudden it was a deeply tragic place.”

criminal investigation is currently underway into the circumstances of the deaths of the siblings.

Gardaí say they are investigating “all of the circumstances” surrounding the deaths.

Their mother, Lynn Egar, continues to be treated for serious, but non-life threatening, injuries at a Dublin Hospital.

The car was discovered on a rural road at Lackan shortly after 4pm on Friday in the Multyfarnham area, where gardaí and emergency services attended the scene.

Additional reporting by Jane Moore