THE family of Aoife Phelan, whose body was found last week, were "overwhelmed" by the huge turnout at her funeral mass at the weekend.
Hundreds of people travelled to the community of Ballyroan in Co Laois to pay tribute to the nanny and to offer support to her devastated family.
"They were overwhelmed with the support they received," said chief celebrant, Fr Gerard Ahern.
"People came from all over the country, people they didn't even know, to share their experience."
The Ballyroan Brass Band led the cortege as the 30-year-old's body was brought from her home to St Patrick's Church on Saturday afternoon.
Aoife was allegedly murdered shortly after going missing from a friend's house in Portlaoise on October 25. Her remains were discovered buried near Portlaoise last Wednesday.
Fr Ahern complimented Aoife's mother and father, Betty and Michael, and their 11 remaining siblings on their faith.
"Aoife is obviously with you," he commented, "you are strong, you are united, you have the support of each other. The events of the last two weeks have cast a shadow on Aoife's family, on her relations and friends and indeed the entire community."
The majority of the mourners were unable to fit into the church and three priests went out during communion to serve those assembled. Fr Ahern described Aoife as a passionate Chelsea fan, a follower of Leinster and Irish rugby and a talented artist with a great love of music.
Aoife's brother Daragh recalled the happier times when his sister would play pranks, while her sister Nicole spoke of Aoife helping her with her art homework.
Aoife's sister Leighanne brought the first of the gifts, a box of Barry's tea, her favourite brand, while her brother Trevor brought a mug with her favourite football team logo, Chelsea.
Bon Jovi's 'Always' played as Aoife's remains were carried out of the church for burial in nearby St Patrick's Cemetery.