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Saturday 10 December 2016

'Let's continue to light Anne's way home and let us never forget her' - Priest pays tribute at funeral of Anne Shortall

Published 10/04/2015 | 13:31

The coffin is carried to St Josephs Church in Rathnew for the funeral of Anne Shortall. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
The coffin is carried to St Josephs Church in Rathnew for the funeral of Anne Shortall. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
David Shortall, wearing sunglasses, helps to carry the coffin at the funeral of his mother, Anne Shortall at St Josephs Church in Rathnew. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
David Shortall, wearing sunglasses, helps to carry the coffin at the funeral of his mother, Anne Shortall at St Josephs Church in Rathnew. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Family and friends at the funeral of Anne Shortall at St Josephs Church in Rathnew. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Family and friends at the funeral of Anne Shortall at St Josephs Church in Rathnew. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
David Shortall, right, at the funeral of his mother, Anne Shortall at St josephs Church in Rathnew. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
The coffin is carried to St josephs Church in Rathnew for the funeral of Anne Shortall. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
David Shortall, centre, with beard, at the funeral of his mother, Anne Shortall at St Josephs Church in Rathnew. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
The coffin is carried to St Josephs Church in Rathnew for the funeral of Anne Shortall. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
David Shortall, wearing sunglasses, helps to carry the coffin at the funeral of his mother, Anne Shortall at St Josephs Church in Rathnew. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
David Shortall, wearing sunglasses, helps to carry the coffin at the funeral of his mother, Anne Shortall at St Josephs Church in Rathnew. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Mourners at the funeral of Anne Shortall at St Josephs Church in Rathnew. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Family and friends at the funeral of Anne Shortall at St Josephs Church in Rathnew. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
David Shortall, right, at the funeral of his mother, Anne Shortall at St Josephs Church in Rathnew. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
The coffin is carried to St Josephs Church in Rathnew for the funeral of Anne Shortall. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
David Shortall, centre, with beard, at the funeral of his mother, Anne Shortall at St Josephs Church in Rathnew. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
The coffin is carried to St Josephs Church in Rathnew for the funeral of Anne Shortall. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
The coffin is carried to St Josephs Church in Rathnew for the funeral of Anne Shortall. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
The coffin is carried to St Josephs Church in Rathnew for the funeral of Anne Shortall. Picture credit; Damien Eagers

A local priest paid tribute to Anne Shortall at her funeral this afternoon and asked for people to continue lighting candles for her, just as some 300 people did at a candle light vigil on Wednesday night.

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"Let's continue to light Anne's way home and let us never forget her," he said.

In a touching eulogy, local curate Fr Donal Roche said the family 'were heartbroken' as they said 'goodbye to their angel'.

The small Wicklow village of Rathnew fell silent this morning as Anne Shortall was laid to rest.

Anne Shortall had been missing since Good Friday
Anne Shortall had been missing since Good Friday

All 225 seats in St Joseph's church were taken up in her native village of Rathnew.

Hundreds of mourners lined the streets to pay their last respects to the young grandmother.

The coffin is carried to St Josephs Church in Rathnew for the funeral of Anne Shortall. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
The coffin is carried to St Josephs Church in Rathnew for the funeral of Anne Shortall. Picture credit; Damien Eagers

The entire centre aisle of the church was packed with those standing who couldn't get a seat and hundreds of mourners who couldn't find room in the small stone and redbrick building congregated outside.

The 47-year old's body was discovered in a shed in Killougther on Tuesday just 4km away from her final resting place.

The mother of three was reported missing four days earlier with hundreds scouring the Wicklow coastline and countryside in search of the missing woman.

Floral arrangements adorned the quaint church today spelling out 'mother' and 'sister'.

The coffin is carried to St Josephs Church in Rathnew for the funeral of Anne Shortall. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
The coffin is carried to St Josephs Church in Rathnew for the funeral of Anne Shortall. Picture credit; Damien Eagers

Ms Shorthall's remains were carried through her hometown shortly after 10.15am.

She lay in rest at her brother, Gary Doyle's, home in Woodside, Rathnew before making the short journey up the steep hill to the church.

Fr Roche led this morning's emotional ceremony.

He thanked everyone involved in the search for Anne including the Coast Guard and Civil defence and paid special tribute to the Gardai for their support during the past week.

He said the recent events had not only affected the family but the 'entire community'.

Ms Shortall, nee Doyle, was interned in nearby Rathnew cemetery shortly after 12pm this afternoon.

She was buried beside her mother Nellie and father Gar.

She is survived by her children Emma, David and Alanna and her 12 siblings Anthony, Seppy, Percy, Veronica, Gary, Noel, Gerry, Liz, Martin, Josie, Eileen and James.

Symbols of her life were brought to the altar by her three children and one of her grandchildren.

The local community of Wicklow Town hold a candlelight vigil in memory of Anne Shortall. Picture:Arthur Carron
The local community of Wicklow Town hold a candlelight vigil in memory of Anne Shortall. Picture:Arthur Carron
The local community of Wicklow Town hold a candlelight vigil in memory of Anne Shortall. Picture:Arthur Carron
The local community of Wicklow Town hold a candlelight vigil in memory of Anne Shortall. Picture:Arthur Carron
The local community of Wicklow Town hold a candlelight vigil in memory of Anne Shortall. Picture:Arthur Carron
The local community of Wicklow Town hold a candlelight vigil in memory of Anne Shortall. Picture:Arthur Carron

They included a family photo, a prayer book that belonged to her mother, cuddly toys from grandchildren and a pack of cards.

Speaking at the ceremony Ms Shortall's brother-in-law Henry said she 'loved a good game of cards'.

He recalled the affectionate name passed onto Anne by her school friends.

"They used to call her the ferret," he remembered, "probably because she could get into places others couldn't."

Thirty-eight-year-old Roy Webster has been charged with Anne's murder.

He appeared before Bray District Court yesterday where he made no comment in relation to the charge.

He is due to appear before Clover Hill Court next week.

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