Cian McHale, who lost his life in a swimming accident in Crete ten days ago, was remembered at his funeral service as a kind and polite man, with a smile always on his face.
At his peak at the Church of the Holy Rosary, Castlebar, Torin McHale reflected on what Cian meant to him as an older brother.
“Cian was a strong and kind person,” Torin recalls. “He was also a very good brother to me. He was a very good grandson, nephew and cousin.”
Torin continued: “I just haven’t lost a brother. All of Cian’s friends have it too. It really breaks our hearts to have him taken away from us.
“Cian was known to many people and every time I saw him with friends he always smiled.”
Father Conal Eustace, Rev. of Castlebar, was received at the funeral service by Fr. Gerry Burns, Rev. of Clonbur/Cornamona, Co. Galway.
Father Burns fondly recalled how he first met Cian when he came to live in Clonbur and then played Gaelic football with distinction at the local club.
He said the question on everyone’s mind when they heard the news of the tragedy was – how could this happen to such a good, fit young man?
Father Burns said the funeral notice websites’ condolence pages since the death have shown Cian’s more complete life story of nearly 22 years of life.
“It’s a story of a smile, a story of manners, a story of gratitude, a story of his vast collection of friends. And that’s the story I knew. This is the person I would meet.
“At the club (Clonbur GAA) we always talked about how polite he was and how grateful he was for anything you would do for him.”
Reflecting on the sadness that gripped the local communities after the untimely death, Father Burns told the large congregation, “Their darkness can be taken away by the beautiful memories of Cian.
“In his short life here on earth he left wonderful impressions, made wonderful friends.”
Symbols brought to the altar to denote Cian’s life and hobbies included a soccer ball and a hair clipper as a reference to “his great sense of style”. Small fitness machines were also introduced to show Cian’s “love of being fit and healthy and encouraging friends to do the same”.
Fr. Eustace and Fr. Burns expressed their deepest condolences to the heartbroken relatives occupying the front pews – Cian’s mother Nicola, brother Torin, grandparents Frank and Mary (Castlebar), uncles Fintan and Sean, aunts Fiona and Vanessa , the cousins Eoghan, Eabha , Fionn, Lanah, Keelyn, Katie, relatives, neighbors and friends.
The funeral took place in Castlebar’s New Cemetery in the early afternoon.
https://www.independent.ie/news/brothers-tribute-to-strong-and-kind-cian-mchale-after-drowning-41827244.html Brother’s tribute to the ‘strong and kind’ Cian McHale after the drowning