A NINE-YEAR-OLD boy who died after a jamming bicycle crash was ‘full of life’, mourners heard at his funeral, as a priest warned of the dangers of motorsport.
Charlie Joyce’s white coffin was carried into All Saints Church in Ballymena, County Antrim, followed by a large crowd of family and friends.
A mourner wore a red and blue helmet while among the floral tributes on the back of a flatbed truck was a framed photo of the young boy on a bicycle.
Charlie was fatally injured in the collision in a Ballymena park on Thursday afternoon.
Floral tributes accompanied Charlie Joyce’s casket
Credit: Liam McBurney/PA
Another boy, aged 13, was taken to hospital after being seriously injured in the incident.
The two children are said to have been riding on separate bikes which crashed head-on into the park in the Dunvale neighborhood of the city’s Dunclug estate shortly before 5 p.m.
They were taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, one by air ambulance.
Charlie, who frequented St Brigid primary school, died on Friday morning.
Monsignor Patrick Delargy said the child had been “a very active boy, as we all know”, adding that he was “full of life”.
He said Charlie loved animals, especially horses and dogs, and had been a member of the All Saints boxing club since he was three.
The funeral mourning heard that Charlie was “very active”
The priest said: “We remember him there as a very happy and enthusiastic boy. He was a good lad. He envisioned a promising future.
Father Delargy told the congregation, “He also loved scrambling, but we also know that motorcycle racing is a dangerous sport.”
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He said that while it can be “exciting”, it is “also dangerous and sometimes we have to acknowledge that”.
He suggested that “perhaps more thought should be given to cycling events and where they take place”.
He added: “We have to remember that human life is very fragile, and all kinds of sports, there are all these rules to follow. But sometimes things happen out of the blue. And you don’t know how or why. And we have to get over it. And that’s what we’re doing today.
Father Delargy said Charlie’s parents Joe and Katie-Marie, along with his siblings and extended family circle, are “strong and courageous” and will be supported by friends in dealing with the “terrible blow” of Charlie’s death.
Shortly after the crash, the Police Service of Northern Ireland appealed for anyone who witnessed the collision or had mobile phone footage to contact officers.