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Our best friend, our ' little ray of sunshine '.

Byline: MICHELLE O'KEEFFE

FAMILY'S FAREWELL TO TRUCK DEATH CONOR, 4 THE heartbroken dad of tragic four-year-old Conor McDaid paid an emotional tribute at his funeral yesterday saying: "He was our ray of sunshine."

Conor's little white coffin was carried into St Mary's Church in Drogheda, Co Louth, yesterday, where he had been baptised.

His mum Mary, clutching her son's favourite teddy and photos of him, was comforted by family as she said a final farewell to Conor who died on Tuesday after being knocked down by a truck.

Dad Paul O'Brien said: "The three of us had the best years of our lives. We loved Conor like no other.

"Every morning he climbed into bed beside us and asked for a good cuddle and for us to scratch his back.

"He would always promise to look after his mammy until I got home. He was so special. We are grateful, he touched so many people's lives, and they touched his. He loved everybody. He was going to be the best at everything he did, football, hurling - the world is missing out on a star.

"He told us he loved us every day without being asked. He hugged and kissed us always whether he was in a good or bad mood.

"What a guy, what a boy, what a legend. He looked up to me. He thought I was his hero but he was my hero. There will be an empty chair at school next week. We love you so much Conor. We had so much fun. Our son, our star, our best friend, our little ray of sunshine.

"You will never walk alone. We will walk with you again soon.

"Night, night baby. See you in the morning. Night now, don't turn off the light. Night."

Paul also asked mourners gathered in the packed church to pray for the driver of the truck when Conor was accidentally knocked down just metres from their home in Tullyallen, Drogheda. He said: "Pray for that man, that he recovers, and in the near future myself and himself will share a drink in the Star bar."

Conor's best pal Jack brought a Newcastle jersey to the altar.

Other items representing his short life included a hurley, football boots, a Buzz Lightyear toy, his wellies, a photo of him on his baptism day and a magnet of Australia, where he had recently gone on holiday with his parents.

Parish priest Fr Denis Nulty said: "Days don't come harder than this day. A short four years ago he was baptised here. His mum carried him into this church that day and both Mary and Paul are carrying him out today, much too quick.

"He was a happy and healthy young lad, who had longed to wear his school uniform. He is wearing it alright but not as we would wish. Photographs capture the wonderful lad - one of him up a ladder wearing a yellow helmet.

"One of him with a studied look on his face which suggests one day he would have been an engineer, and a cheeky picture of him with his tongue sticking out.

"On the wall above these pictures, where Conor reposed, hung a certificate of graduation from Montessori school Daisy Chains.

"Last Valentine's Day Conor gave his parents a gift of a collage of his hand and fingerprints.

"There was a poem on it about how little hand prints disappear and this would be a momentum, a small reminder.

"This in time will make his parents smile. So many feel overburden by the tsunami of grief. Grief of wonderful parents who offered us all a lesson in love.

"And grief for the lorry driver whose world in a few seconds was turned upside down."

Mary and Paul, Conor's grandparents Pat and Sheila McDaid and Marie and Peter O'Brien comforted each other as he was laid to rest in nearby Calvary cemetery.

CAPTION(S):

HEARTACHE Conor's coffin and, right, the popular boy PARENTS' AGONY Mary clutches Conor's teddy as dad Paul prepares for funeral in Drogheda yesterday
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 20, 2011
Words:674
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