“Andrew had a very short but a very full life,” Andrew’s devastated aunt, Dr Heather Laird told the congregation at the funeral last Friday. In a brave, emotional and ultimately uplifting tribute made on behalf of the Dolan and Laird families, Dr Laird expressed their joy at having been blessed to know and love Andrew for the 20 years of his short life.
It was obvious by the crowds present for the wake, removal and funeral and the thousands of messages of condolence, that so many lives had been touched by Andrew.
While acknowledging the nightmare that began for the family following his assault in Mullingar at 2.48am on December 23, Dr Laird said that the words of support and sympathy received since his assault, during his 10 days in ICU in Beaumont and since his death on January 1, had given the family strength during a “nightmarish” time.
Admitting that the attack on Andrew could have left them with the impression of Ireland “as a dark and a dangerous place, but in the days since we have been constantly reminded of the good (in Ireland) by family, friends, of the wider community of Carrick-on-Shannon, who have supported and sustained us ..... on this nightmarish journey,” she acknowledged.
On behalf of Andrew’s family, Dr Laird thanked everyone who had been so supportive, all those involved in the removal and funeral and everyone who had travelled from near and far to say goodbye to a much loved young man.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.