By Kieran O’Mahony
TRIBUTES have been paid to 13-year-old Arron O’Leary from Ballinhassig who died on Tuesday.
Arron, who had cystic fibrosis, underwent a double lung transplant in Newcastle in December 2015 when he was just 11.
Last November, Arron and his brother Cian (15), who also suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, were given a Special Achievement Award at The West Cork Youth Awards in The West Cork Hotel in Skibbereen.
In the citation at the awards it was stated that ‘Arron has shown remarkable courage, and a positive outlook on life and he never complains and he is a shining light for all. Cian was also recognised as being ‘a tremendous support for his younger brother.’
Chief Supt of the Cork West garda division, Con Cadogan, said that on behalf of the Garda Siochána in West Cork and on a personal level, he wanted to extend his sympathy to the O’Leary family.
‘My heart goes out to them, as I know the family personally and also as a member of the Kinsale District Lions Club. We assisted and helped with getting Arron to Newcastle for his operation in 2015, and I would like to offer my sympathy of behalf of the Lions Club too,’ said Chief Supt Cadogan.
Arron’s mother Caroline is involved in fundraising for the charity, Build4Life Cystic Fibrosis and she has raised thousands of euro for the charity. Build4Life itself paid tribute to Arron on their Facebook page, saying ‘RIP Arron, we will all miss you so very much, our hearts are truly broken.’
A fan of all things mechanically propelled, Arron was also remembered by Ballygarvan Vintage Club who posted on their Facebook page that ‘another angel has found their wings.’ Crossbarry Motorbike Club and Blood Bike South also paid tribute to Arron, who they had met on several occasions before.
Arron is survived by his parents Paul and Caroline and his brother Cian.
The Build4Life funded Cystic Fibrosis outpatient clinic, which is part of the new Children’s Outpatient Unit in CUH, was officially opened by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny this week, and will be available for its first patients next month.