Dane's funeral cortege leaves Sallins for Bodenstown Cemetery today
Bright winter sunshine flooded through the low set windows of Sallins’ Church of Our Lady and the Guardian Angels as the coffin bearing the remains of teenager Dane Loakman was carried to the altar this afternoon.
The 16 year old died following a road accident a short distance away on Monday morning.
There was never going to be enough room within the compact but atmospheric church to accommodate the mourners for his funeral mass.
They included students at Piper’s Hill College in Naas, which he had previously attended, as well as neighbours and friends, many of them teenagers, most of whom wore black or the green-and-white Sallins Celtic soccer jersey.
Reflecting on the circumstances of Dane’s death, parish priest Fr. Liam Morgan said this is a terribly sad occasion for which the community gathers “to bring Dane before the altar of God long before his time.”
He added: “We can feel the depth of the pain of his friends in Youthreach, from school and his mother Alison and brother Codey feel it deeply. This tests our faith and belief but we trust in God and ask him to be with us in this time of pain and sorrow.”
Referring to the accident, which happened on Clane Road, near Dane’s home; he said Alison witnessed what no mother should ever have to see - a serious accident involving her child.
“She kept a bedside vigil along with Codey. We feel numb. It’s very hard to comprehend what happened; if only we could turn the clock back in time, but we cannot,” Fr. Morgan told the congregation.
He said that Al, Codey and Dane lived in No. 10 Castlefen where Alison’s life was wrapped up in her boys and she “single handedly made a life for her, Codey and Dane.” Speaking to Alison he said “you are their greatest ally, you are with them every step of the way on a pathway with a deep and unique love.”
Dane, he said, was a fine handsome, young man. “He was adventurous, and he would try anything.” There was laughter earlier when Fr. Morgan introduced a vape among the items representing his life which were placed atop his coffin. They also included an Xbox controller, two photographs (one taken at the seaside and one with his mum and older brother) and the gospel.
Fr. Morgan said his friends have been loyal and supportive and he told them their presence at Dane’s home and the church is a source of comfort to all the family.
Dane’s granduncle Patrick Keane thanked the paramedics, the clergy, Naas Hospital, Beaumont Hospital and the gardai for their help in the aftermath of the accident. He also thanked the shops, pubs and restaurants who provided food and beverages to the family home.
“I want to also thank the community who rallied around us and to Dane’s friends in Sallins and beyond. You’re a credit to your parents, the community and most all yourselves," he said.
Addressing Dane he said: “Your warm smile will live with us forever.”
Dane is also survived by grandmother Val, grandfather Vinny, great grandparents Mary and Vince.
His funeral took place to Bodenstown Cemetery.