Irish Daily Mail – Tragedy in New York as 12-year-old son of prominent Irish-American couple dies suddenly

Posted by: Irish Daily Mail; Posted on Sunday, April 08, 2012

A prominent New York family are in mourning after their young son died suddenly. Rory Staunton, the son of Irish Lobby For Immigration Reform founder Ciaran Staunton, died of complications following a brief illness.

Mr Staunton runs an Irish pub, Molly Bloom’s, in New York. His wife, Orlaith, runs The Irish Voice newspaper also in the city.

Rory Staunton, the son of Irish Lobby For Immigration Reform founder Ciaran Staunton, died of complications following a brief illness. ‘We will all miss him,’ junior minister Fergus O’Dowd said yesterday. ‘He was wonderful and too young to die.’ Niall O’Dowd, who works at the Irish Voice newspaper in New York, writes on its website Irish ‘This is the toughest column I will ever write and the one I least expected to.’

‘On Sunday night in a New York hospital my beautiful 12-year-old nephew Rory Staunton passed from this earth. Rory wasn’t just my nephew, he was the son I never had, the precious possession of my sister Orlaith and her husband Ciaran Staunton along with their daughter Kathleen.’

Mr O’Dowd, who has a daughter Alana, said he often tried to ‘steal’ Rory away: ‘a Notre Dame game, a weekend at our house, whenever the opportunity presented itself.

‘I revelled in this big laughing Irishman, with the ‘Simpsons’ and ‘Family Guy’ obsession, the absurd sense of humor and the serious political side of him who studied American politics with the intensity of a professional. JFK was his hero he told me, because of his idealism. Rory too wanted to make a difference, to help the less well off. For one so young he already had a highly developed social conscience.

‘He had already been to the White House and had met President Obama and Michelle on St Patrick’s Day in 2011. Not surprisingly, given his parents and their keen interest in all things political, Rory was fast becoming a political expert.’

‘Then on Sunday we lost him. Four days earlier he had received an elbow scrape after falling while playing basketball, which had somehow allowed a toxic bacteria into his system. Two days later he was hospitalized, fighting for his life, a battle he ultimately lost.

‘There is an air of unreality even as I write this. My beautiful red-headed, five-foot nine-inch tall nephew has departed, leaving an utterly broken family and circle of friends that stretches from New York to Ireland to many other points behind.

‘It was the worst weekend of my life as I watched the beloved boy battle vainly against the host of toxins that were attacking him.

‘Despite the best efforts of outstanding doctors and nurses in the Intensive Care Unit , the darling boy did not survive.

‘He is gone now into the wild blue yonder where he used to travel as a pilot in the making.

‘Soar high Rory, and keep watch on us down below. We love you and miss you so much. Some day with a blue sky above and a fair wind behind, and our hearts full, our dreams will come true and we will meet our beautiful boy again.’

Rory’s uncle Fine Gael Minister of State, Fergus O’Dowd, said: ‘We will all miss him. He was wonderful and too young to die.’

Rory’s remains will be flown home to Ireland for burial.