One of the twenty seven victims of the horrific shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School Newtown, Connecticut, USA last Friday, December 14 has a local connection to Dromahair.
Seven year old Daniel Barden who was shot dead in the massacre is a grandchild of Martin Giblin from Lisgorman, Dromahair. While 90 year old Martin Giblin currently resides in Florida relatives still live around Killargue as well as in Sligo and Donegal. The news has had a shocking effect on family members who reside locally, they are devastated by the tragic news.
“A constant source of laughter and joy” Daniel Barden was born on the 27th September 2005 to parents Jacqueline (nee Giblin) and Mark Barden. Jacqueline is one of ten children born in New York to Dromahair’s Martin Giblin and Madeline McDonnell (originally from Newry, Co Down who died in 2005). Daniel was the youngest of three children, his siblings are James Barden aged 12 and Natalie Barden aged 11.
Daniel’s grandfather, Martin Giblin, born in Lisgorman, Dromahair (Killargue Parish) in 1922, now living in Florida, celebrated his 90th Birthday last month. Martin was the son of Michael Giblin Lisgorman Dromahair and Jane McManus Mullaghboy, Blacklion, Co Cavan. Martin Giblin emigrated to the USA in 1947.
Tragic victim Daniel was just one year old when he visited Leitrim with his family and a large group of the Giblins in 2007. They stayed in Leitrim while they attended The McManus family reunion and visited family and friends. The Barden Family and other Giblin family members were planning to visit Dromahair and Newry next Summer. Martin Giblin last visited Dromahair in the Autumn of 2009.
The official statement issued by the Barden family after the shootings said, “Everyone who has ever met Daniel remembers and loves him. Words really cannot express what a special boy Daniel was. Such a light. Always smiling, unfailingly polite, incredibly affectionate, fair and so thoughtful towards others, imaginative in play, both intelligent and articulate in conversation: in all, a constant source of laughter and joy. Daniel was fearless in his pursuit of happiness and life. He earned his ripped jeans and missing two front teeth. Despite that, he was, as his mother said, “Just So Good.” He embodied everything that is wholesome and innocent in the world. Our hearts break over losing him and for the many other families suffering loss.”
As both Mark and Jacqueline will be away from work for some time to grieve, a Barden Family Fund has been set up at www.bardenfund.com.
A wake for young Daniel was held last night, December 18 5-8pm at Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Newtown, Connecticut. The funeral service is today, Wednesday, December 19th at 10am at the same location.
Local relatives ask for your prayers and thoughts, their sympathy goes to the 26 other families who are in utter grief at this time.