Hundreds mourn nun who died in drowning tragedy
The death of Sr Paula Buckley in a double drowning tragedy in Kerry had left two families in mourning, the chief celebrant at her funeral Mass said.
Fr Joe Egan told hundreds of mourners in Cashel, Tipperary yesterday that the devout nun "belonged to two communities". "Her own blood family and the Presentation family. You are both in mourning today," he said.
Fr Egan said that on the day of Sr Paula's death last week he had received a invitation from her to an event next month celebrating 50 years since she joined the Presentation Order. "It wasn't to be," he added.
Sr Imelda Carew, who was leader of the south-eastern province, died along with Sr Paula last week at Inch. She was buried on Sunday following requiem Mass in Mountmellick, Co Laois.
Chief mourners at yesterday's funeral Mass included Sr Paula's sister, Marie, and brother-in-law John, as well as her nieces, nephews and other relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbours.
Her niece, Deirdre, told those gathered at the Church of St John the Baptist that "Auntie Paula had a huge impression on our lives. She was an avid fan of Tipperary hurling and sport in general. None of us were surprised by our win over Cork last Sunday, given our support from above."
Sr Marguerite Ryan, from the Province of Presentation Sisters, said the last few days had been "an extraordinary experience" for all who knew Sr Paula. "Overwhelmed as we were by the double tragedy on on Thursday evening, we were even more overwhelmed by the outpouring of prayers and sympathy and love that have flowed from all over Ireland and indeed around the world."
More than 40 priests concelebrated the funeral Mass, and over 100 sisters from the Presentation Order and other orders were also present.