THERE were very poignant scenes in the close-knit parish of Beaufort this Saturday as 14-year-old Thomas Healy was laid to rest following Requiem Mass in St Mary’s Church.
The hugely popular teenager lost his life in a road accident in Killarney last Tuesday morning and his good friend, also aged 14, was seriously injured in the crash.
Thomas’s musically gifted older brother, well-known entertainer Jack Patrick Healy, illuminated the ceremony with his wonderful voice and he delivered an emotion-charged version of the Jim Reeves classic Never Grow Old as the funeral cortege left the church for burial in Churchtown Cemetery.
Another brother, Danny, paid a moving tribute from the altar, saying that although Thomas only lived for 14 and a half years, the memories they have of him will live forever.
“Thomas was the centre of our lives and the Healy schedule was always run on Thomas time,” he said.
“Like all the Healy boys, Thomas has a mischievous glare in his eyes but he was always referred to as a nice and polite young man,” Danny said, adding that his youngest sibling had a passion for vintage tractors and helped his dad prepare them for charity fundraisers.
“Thomas was an all-rounder. He played for Beaufort GAA and Killarney Athletic and we were only told this week that he was in line to wear the Kerry jersey,” he said.
“On top of this, he was able to adjust his schedule to fit in athletics and golf.
“He was the apple of his parents’ eyes and a beloved brother,” Danny said.
Symbols brought to the altar to mark Thomas’s life included a football and a miniature tractor to signify his love for vintage machinery.
Celebrant Fr Kieran O’Sullivan said he first heard the news of the road tragedy on the morning radio news and it was only later in the day that he learned who it was.
“Thomas was the life and soul of the family who inherited a great singing voice. He was full of life, the centre of family life and he was talented,” he said.
“He was outgoing and well able to converse with the youngest and the oldest in the parish,” Fr O’Sullivan added.