Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Balloons released in memory of ‘princess’ May Rose

Dozens of pink balloons were released into the sky at Silverbridge yesterday to remember baby May Rose Gibney who passed away in the early hours of Monday last, October 2nd, aged just six months.

Organised by members of the local community to honour “the beautiful angel” who had “impacted on so many lives”, the event was a show of support and sympathy for the tot’s bereaved family, many of whom attended.

The infant, whose mother Analee originates from the Newtownhamilton area, was born in March with encephalocele, a rare brain condition. But she became well-known throughout the area and beyond as Analee shared her daughter’s progress on-line, her battle attracting encouragement and well wishes from around the world.

Not expected to survive her first few months, May Rose confounded her family by reaching small milestones.  However, her prognosis was dim and with treatment options exhausted here and in England, family and friends began fundraising for private treatment in America.  In August little May Rose underwent extensive brain surgery, however initial hope of success faded when she suffered a number of strokes and her health deteriorated further.

On Monday last heartbroken Analee shared an emotional message on Facebook revealing little May Rose had “gained her beautiful angel wings”.   She paid tribute to her daughter who, she said, “put up one hell of a fight”, and thanked everyone who had prayed for the infant during her short life.

From her home near Moy, May Rose’s tiny white coffin was carried in a horse-drawn carriage to St. Malachy’s Church in Ballymoyer on Wednesday, for requiem mass and burial, her mother describing the funeral as “the perfect send-off”.  Analee offered her heartfelt appreciation for the many messages of sympathy and support she has received, adding that her “princess warrior” is at peace, but “her legacy will always live on”.