A mother-of-one found dead while holidaying in Spain was “a fantastic friend and an absolutely adored daughter”, mourners have been told at her funeral Mass.
Her mother Jackie Ward told the congregation at the Church of St John the Evangelist in Ballinteer, Dublin on Thursday that her daughter Kirsty (36) had been an amazing Mum to Evan. “The two of them were an amazingly strong and tight team and I hope to continue the great work she has done.
“To me she was a fantastic friend and an absolutely adored daughter to myself and John. She was a caring sister, a cherished granddaughter and much loved niece and cousin. A loyal and true friend.”
Kirsty from Dundrum in Dublin was found dead in a corridor of the Magnolia Hotel in Salou almost three weeks ago. A 30-year-old Irish man was arrested by police on suspicion of killing her.
Addressing mourners at the start of her funeral Mass, her mother began by thankingthose who helped her family “during these incredibly difficult times”, including gardaí, the consular office “and the Irish Embassy in Madrid who helped us with the arrangements and the interpreters, to the Spanish police and investigation team who were very compassionate to us throughout.”
She also thanked the Mayor of Salou for holding a vigil for her daughter and the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust who did “everything to bring Kirsty home”.
“Kirsty loved her gym … Kirsty had a beautiful smile,” said Ms Ward.
Her coffin was adorned with a smiling photograph of Kirsty. A Mass booklet was filled with photographs of her and her son Evan in happier times.
The chief celebrant Fr Liam Belton told mourners they were gathering together on a “very sad morning”.
“We are all deeply saddened and shocked at Kirsty’s tragic death. We feel hurt. Her family were very close to her as she was to them. Her bubbly personality brought huge energy to those around her on any occasion,” he said.
“People were drawn to her such was the dynamism of her personality, she had a great personality. Everyone in the church brings their love to support Kirsty’s family at this dark moment in all of our lives.”
Symbols of Kirsty’s life were brought to the altar. Her black and pink gym bag was presented, along with a pineapple cushion which travelled with her everywhere in her car, a pair of high heel shoes represented how important her appearance was to her and a vinyl album symbolising her love of music.
Hundreds of mourners gathered to pay their respects with only standing room available. The Vard Sisters filled the church with hymns throughout the emotion-filled ceremony. Cremation followed at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome, Harold’s Cross.