The funeral of a teenager who died in a car crash on Wednesday has heard that he was a friendly and talented sports player, who was able to strike up a conversation with anyone.
Fourteen-year-old Thomas Healy’s funeral mass was held this morning at 11am in St Mary’s Church in Beaufort, Co Kerry.
The young man was from the Gap of Dunloe area.
His brother Danny delivered a moving eulogy for the late Thomas.
“As my mother says, rather than being taken to Paris for her 40th birthday, she was presented with the present of a lifetime, which unfortunately only lasted 14-and-a-half years,” he said.
Danny said that their memories with Thomas will live forever. “Thomas was the centre of our lives, and the Healy schedule was always run on Thomas time.”
He played GAA for Beaufort and was involved in Killarney Athletic. This week, the family were told he was in line to wear Kerry jersey. He also played golf.
Danny said that their mother, Julie, was always there to support Thomas on the sidelines.
She started taking Thomas to his older brother’s matches from when he was in a carry cot.
“There are stories around the parish of my mother having to breastfeed him on the sidelines... and always and ever, the toy choice was a ball of some description.”
Danny said their younger brother picked up interests and habits from his three older brothers.
He developed a love of music from his brother Jack, who sang and played the piano at the funeral.
“Michael and I had the pleasure of toughening him up,” said Danny. “As we always said, he was never brought up, he was dragged up between us.”
Danny added that he had some great days this summer playing golf with Thomas, which is very thankful for.
“He was always referred to as a nice and polite young man. Even though we all knew it, it was confirmed over the last few days, how well he was able to converse with those from his own age group, to those younger than him, friends and neighbours, and even to people in their 70s and 80s.”
Thomas had also recently started helping his father with charity fundraising.
“That sums up Thomas, he was the apple of his parent’s eyes, and a beloved brother,” said Danny.
Thomas’s parents are Ger and Julie Healy, and he was the youngest of their four children.
Ger Healy is a musician known as “The Singing Jarvey”.
Thomas has three brothers, Jack, Danny and Michael.
Thomas’s grandfather and the late Jackie Healy-Rae TD would have been step-brothers.
Prayers for Alfie Barrett, who was injured in the crash that claimed Thomas’s life, were said at the funeral mass today. A prayer of the faithful asked that his surgeries go successfully.
It is understood the car Thomas was driving went out of control and struck a tree on the Ross Road in Kerry around 1am on Wednesday.
The matter has been referred to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc), as the car had an interaction with gardaí prior to the crash.