The close knit community of Colmcille was plunged into sadness last week as locals bade an emotional farewell to 13-year-old Cian Smith who died after a brave battle with illness.
A first year student at Moyne Community School, the popular teenager from Glenmore, just outside Aughnacliffe, passed away last Sunday week (February 6) in the loving care of his family - parents Sínead and Frank, brothers Conor and Ronan and sister, Áine.
As an avid sports fan, Cian was a noted defensive stalwart of Dromard minor side, St Francis where he plied his trade at full back.
Last year, as he prepared to enter secondary school with Moyne, Cian played a prominent part in helping his former school, St Colmcille’s NS to the league and championship double.
As well as winning rave reviews for his performances on the GAA pitch, Cian embraced soccer with equal gusto. A proud supporter of Manchester Utd, Cian was just at home when turning out for his local U.C.L club.
In addition to his sporting exploits, which also included basketball, Cian likewise built up noteworthy praise for his adeptness in the field of music.
A regular competitor at local and provincial fleadh level, in May 2010 he secured an All-Ireland community games medal as a member of the Dromard Instrumental Group.
Despite suffering from ill health in recent months, Cian also managed to squeeze athletics, drama and draughts into a hectic weekly schedule.
This week, school mates at Moyne Community School said the outgoing teenager would be remembered most for his warm personality and expertise on the field of play.
“Well known for his cheeky smile, Cian made a huge impact on everyone who knew him. He impressed with his skills on the football field, with his musical ability, his outgoing personality and his positive outlook,” one tribute read this week.
A close family member, meanwhile, described Cian as one of life’s more modest and kind-hearted of characters.
“When he (Cian) came into a room it would just light up. Everyone would suddenly become more cheerful and happy,” she said.
The late Cian Smith was laid to rest inside the grounds of St Colmcille’s Church cemetery last Tuesday week (February 8) after Requiem Mass. He is survived by his parents Sínead and Frank, brothers Conor and Ronan, sister, Áine, extended family and a wide circle of neighbours and friends.