‘His best friend was his daddy’ – Dylan and Eoin Fitzpatrick are laid to rest after Turkish moped tragedy

Eoin Fitzpatrick (35) and his son Dylan (10) died after a collision involving a bus and their moped, in the coastal resort of Alanya on Monday July 17.

They had been due to come home just hours later.

At St Peter and Paul’s Church in Portlaoise, Co Laois, Dylan’s young classmates and formed a guard of honour as their two coffins were blessed upon their arrival.

Floral tributes at the altar spelled their nicknames Diggy and Fitzy in white blossoms.

Photographs of the father and son and their family, smiling warmly in happiness, were projected onto a large screen during the funeral mass.

In his homily, Monsignor John Byrne said the tragic events of last week in Turkey that resulted in the deaths of Eoin and Dylan have left their families heartbroken and bewildered.

“Indeed, a whole community is in shock and united in sympathy and a desire to embrace and support those whose hearts are truly broken.

“The palpable sense of shock and loss in our community over the past few days, and the huge congregation here in St. Peter & Paul’s this afternoon, a congregation that spills out into the grounds, is evidence of this desire to support.”

“There are no words that can mend hearts broken by a tragedy like this,” he said.

“In the circumstances we can easily forget how young Eoin is, only 35 years old, a devoted father, son, brother, uncle and friend, because he is accompanied into eternal life by Dylan only 10, going into fourth class, with so much to look forward to.”

“But it would be wrong to only think of the great things the future held for both of them rather than to give thanks for what was. All that they were, all the love and the deep impression they made on family and all who knew them,” he added.

During communion the song ‘Send Me On My Way’ was sung, with its poignant lyrics repeating ‘hold my little hand’ and ‘send me on my way’.

After the mass Dylan’s mother Claire and other members of the family spoke emotionally, warmly and lovingly about the ‘two boys’ they would miss and cherish.

“I am going to keep this short and sweet just like Dylan, was short and so sweet. Dylan was so special and witty and the kindest boy, he also had a temper but I’ve only myself to blame for that.

“He loved the simple things in life but it was his way or no way. As my family would say, it’s Dylan’s world and we are all just living in it. He loved to dance, he loved to colour, he loved to read, he loved to swim. He loved trains.

” His favorite movies were Matilda and Paddington 2, and his favorite colour was red. His favorite thing to do at home was torment Cian, they had a special bond that will never be replaced,” said Claire.

“He always held my hand, and I will forever hold him in my heart. His best friend was his daddy, whom he loved so dearly because he was and always will be the most amazing father to him and Cian. I hope they’re holding each other so tight wherever they are.

“I’ll end this with saying something that Dylan and I always say to each other. I love you. I love you more. I love you most,” she added through her tears.

A family member said Dylan was one of a kind, and yet a portrait of contrasts.

“He loved trains, dependable, consistent, predictable, reliable trains. He loved structure, order, routine. Perfectly cut triangular sandwiches that only his Nana could make, and the same after school jigsaw puzzle that only Nana could help build,” she said, adding that on the other hand he was free spirited with a great imagination.

She said he wasn’t a carbon copy of his dad, in that he didn’t like sports and didn’t like cars.

“He had a special gift. Eoin saw that and he celebrated it, he nurtured it, and that is why they had such a unique bond. It was beautiful,” she said.

“Eoin on the other hand was an accomplished athlete. He played soccer. He was a gifted hurler. He wore the town and county colours with pride. He was a devoted father, an exceptional friend, a loving son. He was also a pain in the arse!” she said, to laughter.

“He had firmly held beliefs, even if he was totally wrong, which incidentally he would never admit.

“He always had to have the last word, and just a few more to reinforce that. He had an incredible sense of humour.

“The master of one-liners and withering retorts, he was a joy to be around. His laughter was infectious. He found himself to be the funniest guy in every room. The thing that mattered most to him was the boys,” she said.

Another relative said Dylan’s brother Cian is a chip off the old block: Playful, witty, sharp, funny, smart, kind, sensitive and charming. She said the boys were Eoin’s world.

“What we are all enduring is unthinkable. We grieve for them, but what is grief if not love persevering. We grieve because we love them. Our hearts ache because we missed her smiles. We miss their laughter, their quick wit and good humour, we miss the joy they brought into our lives.

“But that joy will remain because while it’s colored in sadness, the light that Eoin and Dylan brought into the world is undimmed by their absence from it,” she added.

A friend who had known Eoin from primary school paid a glowing tribute to Eoin and his love and dedication for his family and his friends, and told of how Eoin was never further away than a phone call.

Symbols brought to the altar to represent Eoin’s life included his hurley, his GAA and Man United jerseys, and a toy car to represent his profession in the motor trade.

Representing Dylan’s young life were a toy train, a teddy bear, his swimming goggles, a picture he had painted, representing the gateway into his imagination and how he saw the world.

Eoin and Dylan, from Ballytegan and Clonrooske Abbey in Portlaoise, are survived by Dylan’s older brother Cian and mother Claire Dowling, by Eoin’s parents Rita and Frank Fitzpatrick, his sisters Maryse, Ciara and Aideen; Claire’s parents Liz and Andy Dowling and her brother Andrew; and by Eoin’s partner Suzie and her two children Jake and Leon; and wider circle of family and friends; and Dylan’s classmates and teachers at Scoil Bhríde national school in Portlaoise.

After Requiem Mass members of Portlaoise GAA and Laois Academy formed guards of honour as the hearse containing both coffins, side by side, were slowly brought to the nearby St Peter and Paul’s Cemetery for a burial service.

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