Family mourns loss of 'devoted mummy'
Published 18/11/2010 | 05:00
SITTING over the fireplace at the Hines family home is a piece of art drawn by the young mother who was murdered with her two infants this week.
Sarah Hines's craftwork from her days at St Joseph's Secondary School in Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick, takes pride of place in the small family sitting room.
Looking at it, her heartbroken mother, Aibina, struggled to speak.
She didn't need to -- the pain was etched all over her face. Her only daughter and two grandchildren had just been murdered.
In the Feoghnagh home, grieving brothers Chris (23) and Ben (11) stared lovingly at Sarah's schoolwork and photographs of the mother with her children, Reece (3) and five-month-old Amy.
Chris asked to write a tribute to his murdered sister, nephew and niece.
It read: "Sarah Hines -- full of life, very loud. . . devoted mummy and always went out of her way to make people happy.
"Reece, what a lovely sweet boy. He was so excited about starting school.
"Amy was a perfect baby. She was just starting to speak and couldn't go without her mum for five minutes."
Sarah leaves behind seven younger brothers -- Adam (7), Ben (11), Louis (12), Josh (14), Jessie (19), Damien (22) and Chris (23). The family originally hail from Essex, England, but have lived in the west Limerick region for the last 10 years.
Chris was studying at the organic horticultural college in nearby Dromcollogher when he was taken from class and told of the murders.
He said his only sister wanted to be a DJ. "She loved music -- all sorts. She wasn't working. She was living here before she went to Newcastle West.
"She played netball and badminton when she was younger. She liked doing art projects in school. My mum is in bits, it is our worst nightmare."
Speaking outside the rural bungalow, stepfather to the murdered mother, Peter Rolfe, said Sarah's two children brought joy to all.
"When you looked at Amy, she recognised you. She had a lovely smile. . . she lit up the world like," Mr Rolfe said.
"You could write a book about Reece -- he was brilliant. I'd say he had Buddha nature -- every second, every moment was absolutely precious. You have got to live as much as you can -- that was Reece."