There were heartbreaking scenes of grief as two Irish American kids, whose father is from Donegal, were buried yesterday in Brooklyn, victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Brandon and Connor Moore, aged 4 and 2, were laid to rest in a single coffin after a funeral service at Saint Lima of Rose Church as parents Damien and Glenda Moore wept uncontrollably.
They were swept out of their mother’s arms at the height of the hurricane as she desperately pleaded for help and was turned away from a neighbors house in Staten Island after her car stalled in the storm.
She had left her house to drive to her mother’s home during the storm as the water rose. Her husband, a sanitation worker, had been called in to work for the duration of the emergency. The bodies of the two little boys were found in a nearby marsh after the storm.
Former Bishop of Brooklyn, Fr Guy Sansaricq told the congregation, which included 200 co-workers of Damien Moore, "Death is a part of a human life," he said. "When a child dies we know he goes straight to Heaven. Our children don't belong to us, we are just stewards. They belong to God, we don't understand God's plan."
Chaplain of the New York Department of Sanitation, Father Cola Pietro, stated "There are no words. The only thing we can do is offer our support as a family."
Irish Consul General Noel Kilkenny who was there told the Irish Independent: "Obviously there have been a lot of victims of this storm. I've been to Staten Island, the Rockaways, Breezy Point; there have been seniors who have died in their homes and many other tragedies.
"But somehow this one has, I think, captured people and not just in Ireland . . . I don't want to lessen the sadness and grief of the other families but this is something truly tragic."
He stated : "Just like this community has rallied around Damien and Glenda, the community back home in Donegal have rallied around his parents. These were two Irish children and American too, but these were the two most visible signs and the most heart-wrenching signs of the tragedy."
Back in Ireland at a memorial service in St Conal's Church, Portnoo, the parish priest Fr Philip Daly comforted the grandparents, Fay and Paddy Moore.
"We are here to stand side by side with them in the shadow of this immense cross for them. I know from speaking to Damien and Glenda for a few minutes during the week, they did ask us to pray for the two youngsters and for themselves as well.
"We are with them in spirit very much this morning and hopefully our prayers will help and support them," he stated.