'touched hearts' | 

Funeral told ‘darkness descended’ on town after tragic death of Calvin Curley-Gray (11)

The priest said the tragic death “had touched thousands of hearts.”

Young players from Shamrocks FC form a guard of honour at Calvin Curley-Gray. Photo: Ken Fingan/Newspics.

Olivia RyanThe Argus

Solemn church bells tolled as the funeral mass for Calvin Curley-Gray began at Holy Redeemer Church in Dundalk.

The 11 year old tragically passed away just over two weeks after he sustained serious injuries in a fall, and his grieving family and friends gathered to mourn the loss of the "funny, cheeky and bubbly” young boy who had touched the hearts of so many in his short life.

Balloons lined the church as symbols of Calvin’s life, including his favourite football jerseys, were laid at the altar. As a tribute to his love for Liverpool F.C, mourners wore the team jersey featuring “Calvin 11”.

His love of Dundalk F.C was highlighted too, with mourners hearing how he had stayed behind after games at Oriel Park “on many nights, to ask Patrick Hoban if he could have his shirt.” In a touching tribute, the shirt was left with the family after Calvin’s death .

Rev. Stephen Wilson CC told mourners: “When Calvin died, darkness descended on Dundalk. A darkness that has stunned many people in this community and throughout the whole country.”

He said the messages of condolences had come from near and far, and the tragic death “had touched thousands of hearts.”

Speaking to Calvin’s devastated parents and siblings, he said: “Dianne, Fra, Sophie and Evan, I would love to be able to explain to you why Calvin has died, but I can’t do that. I don’t have the answers for you. Your family and friends, the whole community of Dundalk, that has gathered around you today, want to be able to give you answers, but we are lost for words. All we can do is offer you our time and our love.”

He added: “The loss of a child cannot be comprehended. The loss of so much potential, of a character and personality such as Calvin’s, the funny, cheeky, and bubbly spirit that disarmed so many with that trademark smile, the wee chats, never passing anyone without acknowledging them, them trying to work out whether it was Calvin or not with the latest hair style.”

“We cannot understand what you are going through right now, but we are here, we are here as one Christian community, behind you, with you, offering you the little we have, because we care for you, and we want to do our best by you.”

Fr. Wilson said: “I think of Our Lady, Mary, who stood at the cross, she stood there while her son was dying, and I think of the time that you spent in the hospital beside Calvin’s bedside, being there while your son was dying.”

“Those difficult hours that only a parent who has been through this can understand.”

“It is almost comforting, that Calvin, the spirit that had so much courage to try new things, to try anything, would run ahead of the rest of us to meet his maker, to meet the God that has called him to himself. We, together, have spent time preparing Calvin’s body for his final resting place, we have kept vigil, we have comforted each other, we have walked together to the church, and we will walk to Calvin’s final resting place.”

There was a comfort and a tradition, he said “in our journeying to the family home, and from the home to the church, and from the church to the cemetery, we walk together because we are unable to be alone. We support each other in the sure hope that God is with us, that God is supporting us, and that God is uniting us.”

The funeral cortege made its way from the Holy Redeemer Church, stopping at the Clan naGael grounds to pay tribute to Calvin’s love for the club, before he was laid to rest at St. Patrick’s cemetery, Dowdallshill.

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