OVER 1,000 people have attended the heartbreaking funeral of a nine year-old Limerick boy who died after a tragic fishing accident.
Aaron O’Flaherty, from Castletroy View, fell into the sea just over a week ago while fishing with his father Pat Hayes at Ballyvaughan in county Clare.
Despite desperate attempts by his father to rescue his son, Aaron was found unconscious approximately 500m off shore. He was airlifted to University Hospital Galway but transferred to Temple Street Hospital in Dublin where he lost his battle for life last Thursday.
Over 1,000 people packed Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Milford this Monday where mourners bid a tearful farewell to the third class pupil from the adjoining Milford National School.
Teachers, classmates, and friends joined Aaron’s parents, grand parents and his great grandmother for the Mass of the Angels, where tributes were paid to the boy with the “irrepressible smile” who touched so many lives.
In a letter read out on behalf of Aaron’s mother, Cecilia O’Flaherty, a Limerick Civil Defence Officer, the grieving mother described her only child as “her whole world”.
“From the moment you were born even though you were two weeks late you made it very easy to be a mum. I was always so proud of you. Nine years and one month doesn’t sound like a lot but we made them jam packed and we crammed a lot in,” the grieving mother wrote.
Aaron loved sport and was a member of Claughaun GAA Club, Seal Swimming Club and Limerick Lakers Basketball Club.
“There was always a ball of some shape around you but your favourite was basketball. Our last game of ‘One on One’ and you finally beat me and you refused to give me a rematch to win back my title. So you are now forever the champion and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“You are such a special boy Arrie. You left a mark on every person you met. I mentioned to one of the doctors during the week that if you went into an empty room you would come out with a present....
“A person close to me said that you only had to meet Aaron once to be hooked. You are the sun, you are the stars, you are my whole world . Love you Arrie, Mum.”
He was laid to rest in Castlemungret Cemetery.