TWELVE-year-old Wiktor Chojecki, who died when the car he was driving collided head-on with a lorry last week, was “kindness personified”, his funeral Mass heard last Thursday.
Wiktor, originally from Poland but living in Newcastle West, died at the scene of the fatal collision approximately 23 kilometres from his home while driving his mother’s Nissan Qashqai.
A small shrine of teddy bears, candles, and floral tributes mark the scene of the fatal collision which occurred around 2am, on the N21, at Rineroe, on the outskirts of Adare.
Wiktor’s younger sister Julia held her mother Ewa’s hand as they walked behind the coffin which was carried into the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Newcastle West by six pall bearers, including Wiktor’s father Bart.
The boy’s heartbroken mother held a framed photograph of her only son.
Hundreds of mourners attended the poignant ceremony, which was concelebrated in both Polish and English, by Fr Krzysztof Tyburowski, Chaplin to the Polish Community in the Diocese of Limerick; Canon Frank Duhig, PP, Newcastle West; and Fr Dan Neenah, PP, Adare.
Fr Neenah was called to the scene of the fatal collision to administer the Last Rites and he prayed there with Wiktor’s parents.
Canon Duhig said there was great sadness in the town, where last Sunday a vigil was held in memory of Wiktor and in support of his family in which coloured balloons were released into the sky.
“There is one word that I heard within an hour of hearing of Wiktor’s death, that has been repeated many times about him by those who knew him well, and that word is ‘kindness’. In Irish we say ‘cineáltas’, and, kindness is a deeply Christian virtue that marks Wiktor as a true child of God,” said Fr Duhig.
Fr Tyburowski told mourners: “It is a sad day, but with our prayer, and compassion and friendship, we embrace the family of Wiktor who left us too quickly in such a dramatic way. We thank God for the great gift of his young life and we pray for his happiness in eternity before god.”
“Wiktor was a Pole, a member of a great nation, and the great Polish community in the diocese of Limerick that has been created with our Irish brothers and sisters appreciate very much the presence of you Irish people in this sad ceremony, during which we bid farewell to one of the sons of our Polish nation,” added Fr Tyburowski.
White floral bouquets were placed beside Wiktor’s oak coffin and members of Scoil Mhuire agus Ide secondary school, where Wiktor attended, sang hymns.
Over €9,000 has already been raised through an online fundraiser set up to support the Chojecki family.
The “Support for Wiktor’s Family” account via (https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-for-wiktors-family) was established by family friend Dominica Hogan, who wrote: “We’re trying to make things a little easier for the family by raising funds to go towards funeral costs, and to help our friends through what’s going to be a very tough road ahead.”
Wiktor was laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery, Newcastle West.