Alan Mooney’s passing and the way he bore his illness with such grace is one thing but the love he displayed and the resolve he showed to hold on so that he could marry his true love six days before he died and to remain with us, despite medical expectations, for the birth of his son, would melt any heart. It was also an example to all of us about how we should live our lives and provides us with evidence of what the power of love can achieve against seemingly impossible odds . It tells us what kind of person Alan Mooney was and why his memory, his persona, his love will remain in the hearts of all those whose lives he touched.
His father Martin spoke at the funeral Mass about the 28 year old and how he married his love Anne Colfer, six days before he died, seven after he became engaged to her and how three days before he died, his son Eóghan was born.
“Alan, even though it’s impossible for us to imagine life without you here, you have shown us that the best way we can honour you is to live life and live it well,” his father Martin said.
“Al, you know more than any of us how precious life is. You battled against a Cruel Beast of an illness and fought for every precious breath of life. You wanted to remain, to stay with us, to be a new husband,a dad, a son, a brother, a grandson, an uncle, a nephew, a cousin and most of all a wonderful friend to us all here. Something too many of us take for granted: You simply wanted to live.
“All your unselfish acts throughout your struggle has made us more honoured to be known as a relative or friend of the great Alan Mooney. In spite of the impossible path laid ahead of you, we never heard you complain or question why it happened to you. Your Grace, Bravery, Love and Appreciation for life is an inspiration to us all.
“We’ll tell Eóghan all of it, Alan. We’ll tell him you loved him so much that you suffered unimaginable agony just to meet him. You showed more love for your beautiful son throughout Anne’s pregnancy and the short time that you were here with him than some of us will in a lifetime,” his so very proud dad said.
Alan Mooney was really inspirational and kindled a loyalty and love from everyone that knew him. To think that his 10 or 12 close friends (not overly religious) attended prayer meetings every Saturday night for weeks before he died and kept a vigil for him in the carpark of Waterford Regional Hospital (for the 72 hours before he died) just tells you what kind of an incredible human being Alan was.
Renowned for being a bad singer, he was the life and soul of the party while also being a double graduate, great sportsman, diligent employee, loyal son, caring sibling and most of all a passionate and out of this world partner to Anne and their little boy Eóghan.
And when Alan’s sister, Carmel got married a little over a month before Alan died, Alan was groomsman, organised the stag party for his brother-in-law to be, and told no one of his condition, except a handful. He didn’t want to spoil his sister’s big day and he kept going until the early hours at the reception, and no one could have known, the pain he was going through or that he had such little time left.
It was just so typical of the soccer player, who loved watching Kilkenny and Dicksboro hurl.
The main celebrant at Alan’s funeral Mass, Fr Mark Condon, said that Alan had fought the good fight, never gave in, never gave out, and never gave up. “To the end he fought, he ran many races, this race he finished with dignity, and strength of character, a man Eóghan can look up to, as indeed can all of his friends, his relations, he fought the fight, ran the race,to the finish, and kept the faith,” he said in his homily.
“And now as we dare to peer at Alan’s completed tapestry, we see the beautiful scene where the crown of uprightness is place upon his head.
“Alan, put his trust in God, God in turn gave him unbelievable strength and courage to carry his cross, choosing life every step of the way, we cannot but be inspired. I know to his friends and family he is a hero, rightly admired for his courage, determination and love. His noble spirit will live on in each one of you, especially in Eóghan, giving you strength to face your cross, with courage and hope.
“May the knowledge that, the cross is never the end, there is the light and hope and joy of the resurrection, help you in your sadness and grief, as we this community of faith pray with you and for you today, remembering Alan.
On this the feast of all the saints of Ireland, may we hear in our hearts, their shouts of hope, as they welcome Alan into God’s house,” Fr Mark said.
Alan’s father, Martin got up to speak as Alan’s classmates at CBS, WIT, Dublin IT, work colleagues at State Street, family and friends listened.
“His favourite time of year was Christmas, when the excitement and buzz of present shopping was his forte. He’d even put female shoppers to shame. No one was ever forgotten and there was always an unique comic twist to his gifts, especially the ones for his siblings (Carmel, Kevin, Ciara and Lynda). Family birthdays were also top of his list and his two godchildren (Anna and Tadhg) and niece Niamh were spoiled rotten.
“He had a great passion for sport but especially soccer and hurling. His commitment and fierce drive on the field with the teams he played for, showed some of his great qualities. He played schoolboy soccer, firstly for Green Celtic, then St. Canice’s Schoolboys, which led to playing with the amalgamated club AC Kilkenny.
“Soccer was still very much in Alan’s life in recent years. He played 7-a-side soccer up in the Watershed in the all-weather leagues. I remember how slyly Alan would bring in the team jerseys to leave a lovely surprise for his mam, Ber, at the washing machine! This may have been a learned trait, as I myself was known to do that with the underage jerseys years ago!
“As we all know Alan was a massive hurling fan. He went to all the matches with his programme and pen in hand to record every point to every wide. Lynda reckons the discussions in the car between Al and myself on the way to or coming home from matches would give the sport pundits a good run for their money. Alan was a very vocal man at games with ‘ah ref’ being his most used phrase. He wore his Kilkenny jersey with pride and it was a very rare occasion for Alan to miss a match.
“Even though he wasn’t famed for great musical or singing talents, it didn’t stop him trying to blast out his great likes in music especially
“He got to see Bruce Springsteen and Blur live in concert this year. The Blur tune “Song 2” has been thoroughly ruined for the family as Alan got Niamh and Tadhg to like the song so much that it’s all that the kids will listen to on replay when in the car.
“Alan loved Dingle. We spent most of our summers down there with relations, camping in their garden, visiting the Blaskets and going for endless jaunts on the Waltzers! One particular Summer comes to mind when we drove up the Connor Pass and Alan decided to strip down and stand under a waterfall on one of the coldest, wettest days of summer, for a £5 bet. Alan was also known to shamelessly don questionable hair-dos and caveman-like beards all for bets. Alan was always good craic and had a positive outlook in life. He never lost this positivity during his struggle with cancer.
“Although it was a hard time for us all we have some memories of special events in the last couple of weeks which we will never forget.
“Over these last few weeks, many of you did so much to show Alan your love and support for him. In all the pain, so many wonderful things have happened. To quote himself, he “scored a hat-trick” in his final week . Experiencing the joy of becoming engaged and then married to his beautiful partner Anne, followed by the birth of their perfect son, Eóghan, all within a number of days.
On Saturday, October 26, Alan made it known to the palliative care team looking after him that he had a wish to make Anne his wife. In spite of the circumstances, as with everything else he did in his life, there would be no half measures. It would be perfectly executed. Cunningly, we got father-in law to be, Johnny Colfer into Alan’s ward as he wanted to formally ask for Anne’s hand in marriage, which of course was accepted.
Then it came to the big task for Al, the nurses came in and tidied around Alan’s bed for him but that wasn’t good enough. He pulled himself out of bed and got down on one knee and proposed to Anne.
“It was then that all the wheels were set in motion and mountains were moved to enable Alan and Anne to declare their love for each other. We can only offer our sincerest thanks to all of those who worked above their ability to make their very special day possible.
“It would be a shame not to mention some of the important preparations that took place on the morning of Sunday the 27th of October including a good shave and a botched manicure á la Kev and I. With that out of the way, the Wedding celebrations could begin. The only two people who could hold it together in that room were the bride and groom who beamed at the joy of their commitment and love for each other. It was a truly beautiful day. Again, we are so grateful to all involved.
“Next, came the long awaited bundle of joy! At 9.30pm on Wednesday , October 30, Anne and Alan welcomed their son into the world. Eóghan Alan Martin Mooney, the gorgeous little man, met his Daddy the following day and the pride in Alan’s face was unforgettable. Sadly, three days later we lost Alan on Saturday , November 2 at 11.07pm.”
Alan is survived by his wife, Anne and son Eóghan; parents Martin and Ber; sisters Carmel, Ciara and Lynda; brother Kevin; grannies Anastatia (Mooney), Una (Mahony); parents-in-law Johnny and Lena (Colfer); brothers-in-law Jamie and Paul, nephew Tadhg, niece Niamh, aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives and friends. SK