Dozens of people attended a vigil at Waterford’s Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity on Saturday night for the six-year-old boy who was found dead in a car on Friday.
Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, organised the vigil at the Cathedral on Barronstrand Street in Waterford city for Matthew Healy. After the regular Saturday Mass, the lights were dimmed, as people of all ages entered the Cathedral and took a pew to pay their respects for the child.
The six-year-old boy was discovered in a car shortly after midnight on Friday at Rathmoylan Cove, a secluded area of the coast a few miles from Dunmore East. A woman, aged in her 30s, was arrested at the scene and continues to be held for questioning.
Matthew attended senior infants at Faithlegg National School, and played for the under-seven squad of local soccer club, Park Rangers AFC.
[ Boy (6) found dead in Waterford car named locally as Matthew Healy ]
At the vigil, mourners wore expressions of deep pain and shock; some held their heads in their hands.
Bishop Cullinan told the vigil about a recent conversation he had with a grandfather: “He said that he now looks differently on his grandchildren today. Cherishing them more.”
“There is something about the death of a child which touches our hearts so deeply and we are heart-stricken, all of us at some level.
“Our hearts go out to all of Matthew’s family, all of them without exception. We pray for peace. We pay for consolation, and together friends, we pray to God.”
“We pray that Jesus is holding this little boy and all his family, all his friends, all his schoolmates, all the school staff, all the parishioners, all of yourselves, that he is holding all of us in the palms of his parted hands.”
The vigil ended with the Bishop leading a moving rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’, along with the attendees.
Matthew’s football club Park Rangers, based in the Suir estuary community of Cheekpoint, said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we learned about the tragic passing of one of our players this week. Matthew was a member of our under-seven squad. He will be sadly missed by team-mates and coaches. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this unimaginably difficult time.”
Faithlegg Primary School Principal Kieran O’Sullivan and staff said in a statement: “We learned on Friday morning of a tragic incident involving a beloved member of our school community. The gardaí are currently involved. This is a terrible tragedy for the families, our school and our community.
“Our school has implemented its Critical Incident Plan and NEPS (National Educational Psychological Service) psychologists are supporting our school.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those involved and affected by this tragedy.”
A NEPS psychologist was present at the school on Friday, advising the school principal and staff on how they could best support pupils there.
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