Roscommon in mourning as Archie is laid to rest

Roscommon town turned orange on Monday morning as a large crowd gathered at the Sacred Heart Church to pay their respects to Archie Naughton (16) who sadly died on Thursday morning last.

Archie had been admitted to hospital in recent weeks due to heart failure.

His funeral mass on Monday heard how he had packed so much into his 16 years and that he was a compassionate teenager who had many talents.

Gifts brought to the altar as symbols of Archie’s life included pictures of his family and friends, a set of drumsticks, and a pair of headphones and schoolbooks, which reflected his love of music and the enjoyable years he spent at Roxboro National School and Roscommon Community College.

Many members of the congregation donned the bright orange t-shirts that have become synonymous with the Join Our Boys Trust, which was established to assist the Naughton family following the devastating diagnoses of Archie and his 11-year-old twin brothers, George and Isaac.

A large number of Archie’s school friends, teammates from various sporting clubs and supporters also gathered outside to say their final goodbyes.

Chief celebrant Fr. Sean Neylon said Archie was talented and gifted in many areas and paid tribute to the teenager’s compassion in spite of his health struggles.

  In her moving eulogy, Archie’s mum Paula Naughton said the void his death had caused was “deep and dark and catastrophic”. She said that there had never been a dull moment whenever he was around and paid tribute to his “extraordinary strength”.

“One would imagine that a child given such a cruel diagnosis might have reduced opportunities in life…well, not Archie. He had other ideas,” she said.

“Not only did he find the extraordinary strength and determination to fight Duchenne…he actually used the situation he found himself in to show us lesser mortals how to live life to the full.

“Archie was the most contented person we have ever known. If things were not going to plan and I was to ask him how he felt, he always said ‘Look mumma, that’s life, I guess this is the way it’s meant to be. Let’s not worry about it, life is too short, and things could always be worse”.

Paula told the congregation how everyone loved Archie and that he was wise beyond his years. She called on those to assist Join Our Boys in fulfilling Archie’s dying wish of finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

“Archie, wherever you are, I hope you can hear this. We are all so privileged you were ours and we will never ever forget you. Thank you for everything darling, rest well and may God continue to bless you,” she said.

Archie’s dad Padraic said Archie’s life posed a powerful question: “Isn’t it better to share the laughter and tears, the joy and sorrow, the light and darkness, the hope and disappointment of everyone around us, rather than be restricted and hemmed in by the small, narrow world of one?”

A number of videos were played for mourners, showing Archie with his family and siblings. The final recording was of Archie singing along to the lyrics of Dermot Kennedy’s song ‘Better Days’.

Archie was laid to rest in St. Coman’s Cemetery following a funeral procession through Roscommon town, led by Paula, Padraic, George and Isaac. May he rest in peace.