THE DEVASTATED O’Dowd and Staunton families came together on Easter Monday in The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Rathfeigh, Tara and then St Peter’s Cemetery to lay to rest Rory Staunton who passed away suddenly in New York last week.
A huge crowd of people attended the funeral and burial of the 12-year-old who was buried with his ‘ beloved grandmother’ on Easter Monday.
Rory leaves behind his grief-stricken mother, Orlaith, nee O’Dowd, father, Ciaran, and sister Kathleen, grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins and ‘ international friends’.
His uncle, Neil O’Dowd who wrote movingly about the boy said he died after a toxic bacteria entered his body through a cut he received during a basketball match.
Rory’s father, Ciaran Staunton during a eulogy described him as his ‘pal’, never his son, who went everywhere with him and was an ‘unindicted co-conspirator’ in a number of escapades, including one where the ‘famously balding’ Ciaran got Rory to quiz a confused local barber about the wig which his father had ‘ordered’ weeks before.
Ciaran also talked about the Sunnyside community in New York where Rory ‘ grew up and prospered’. A slice of new New York where Irish/Jewish and all religious types mix readily, Rory attended bar mitzvahs, and his Jewish friends helped trim the family’s Christmas tree.
‘How Ciaran pulled it off, I don’t know. He has been so overcome with grief that I feared that he wouldn’t even make it to the church door,’ Neil O’Dowd added.
He also spoke about ‘ the love Ciaran and Orlaith had for each other which sustained them even during ‘ their dark night of the soul’ and how Rory left little love notes for his mum and how they chatted about college and his next big move in life.
Neil O’Dowd also talked about Rory’s sister, Kathleen, who is already missing her big brother and her hero and how brave she has been.
For Ciaran and Orlaith, Easter Monday and Rory’s funeral mass and burial were ‘ the last leg of a nightmare week that will be seared in their hearts forever’. Neil O’Dowd said he hoped that ‘Ireland and family there will work its magic, as if often does, and ease their pain’ at the loss of the son.