Heartbreaking scenes as tragic tot is laid to rest

Anna Rozycka pictured at the funeral of baby Karol
Anna Rozycka pictured at the funeral of baby Karol

Tragic baby Karol Rozycki, has been laid to rest in a heartbreaking ceremony in Poland.

The 11-month-old boy was found smothered to death in a Killarney apartment a week ago.

Karol was brought to his mother’s native country to his final resting place just a month before he was due to celebrate his first birthday.

Tragically, it is his first visit to his mother Anna Rozycka’s homeland where he had been due to meet relatives for the first time later this year.

The funeral at St Martin’s Church, Ochaby, saw a dozens of floral tributes sent from the community in County Kerry who have rallied around the 24-year-old mum.

His mother Anna held her little son’s cuddly toy to her tear-streaked face as prayers were offered for Karol.

The white coffin rested close to the alter where the mourners paid their final tribute.

The officiating priest told Karol’s mother and family that “no-one among us could imagine that we are gathered here in such circumstances. But God decided that after 11 months with us Karol would go back to him.”

 “Now, we are sure that Karol is happy, and nothing, absolutely nothing bad will happen to him again, only goodness,” he added.

“He brought a lot of happiness, goodness, and a beautiful smile. The memory of Karol will remain with us forever, and we will accompany him in our prayers, in hope that we can meet him again one day, take him on our knees, give him a hug, and have some smiles and happiness together.”

Dozens of local families, clubs and associations arranged for wreaths to be sent to little Karol’s Mass of the Angels in a moving show of support.

Karol was buried in the cemetery surrounding the church at Ochaby not far from the southern Polish city of Krako.

Anna was so moved by the support she received in Kerry, she has promised to return to Killarney after baby Karol’s funeral.

Before leaving Ireland, Anna said she was “very proud” to be part of the kind-hearted Killarney community.

In a statement released on Anna’s behalf, she said: “I am impressed how inhabitants of Killarney can rally around in the face of tragedy.”

“Me and my family are proud to be part of this community. We have met a lot of wonderful people to whom we want to express our gratitude.”

She also thanked the gardaí, the interpreter, Aghadoe Heights Hotel staff and Killarney priests, Fr Piotr Delimat and Fr Kieran O’Brien.

Karol’s father, Andrzej Piolunowicz (32), was found just metres from the little boy he had smothered to death, lying unconscious in a pool of blood.

The hotel worker, had sustained self-inflicted stab wounds and died in Cork University Hospital on Thursday.