TRAGIC teen Conor Boyle was remembered as “a great lad, a real sportsman and a hard worker” before being laid to rest on Sunday.
Hundreds of the 18-year-old’s family, friends and team-mates followed the funeral procession through the streets in west Donegal to bid an emotional farewell to the young man.
Conor lost his fight for life in a British hospital last week. He had been in a coma and on life-support since his car collided with a tree outside Peterborough in the early hours of September 7, on his way home from work.
The Loughanure native was driving late at night after being held up for several hours at the Dartford Crossing because of a security scare.
Speaking at the funeral, Conor’s uncle Daniel Boyle said his nephew “was loved by everyone who knew him”.
“He might not have been the biggest man, but he had a big heart,” added Mr Boyle, who lives in Leeds.
Conor’s godmother Brid Sweeney also paid tribute to the young man.
“Although we go home tonight with heavy hearts, we must remember Conor gave us 18 years and five months of happiness and only three weeks of sadness,” she said. “We must not allow those three weeks to overcome the wonderful memories we have of Conor. Love you loads. We will never ever forget you.”
A guard of honour was given at the funeral by Naomh Mhuire GAA club and Rosses Boxing Club, both of which Conor was heavily involved with throughout his childhood.
Mourners also sang The Working Man in memory of Conor’s work as a tunneller for his father’s Doncaster-based tunnelling company this summer.
Local priest Fr John Britto spoke of the huge impact of Conor’s death on the community and the grief his parents, siblings and extended family have endured.
“It has been a very difficult few weeks for his family and for everyone,” Fr Britto said. “I have seen great community spirit in this small parish. Everyone has been there for each other at this difficult time from very young to very old.”
He added: “The coming together of all ages at this time of grief has really touched my heart.”
Conor came to Britain in June after completing his Leaving Certificate exams and planned to stay for a year before returning home for college.
He is survived by his parents Sheila and Hugh, as well as his brothers Liam, James, Darragh, Shane and Owen.