'Little actress Ana was a comet - bright and gone too quickly'
Her short life was like a comet that lit up the sky - as well as the lives of those who loved her.
Mourners at the funeral of Ana Hick were invited not only to weep for her but "to laugh for her too, as she goes home to heaven".
The young actress in training passed away after collapsing outside a nightclub in the early hours of Saturday night, just days before her 19th birthday.
Her poignant white coffin was carried from the church to her final resting place by her stricken loved ones - including her friend Elliot Ryan, the youngest son of late broadcaster Gerry Ryan.
Hundreds of mourners filled the Church of the Assumption in Dalkey to pay a final tearful farewell to the beautiful, popular and talented young woman who had been christened and made her first communion in the same church.
Amongst those in attendance were Gerry Ryan's widow, Morah Ryan with elder son Rex and daughter Lottie, who sought to console Ana's mother, Elga, for the loss of her only child, as they held her in a tender embrace.
Her father Tim, who flew in from the US after his daughter collapsed, held a bunch of yellow balloons as a tribute.
"Her short life was like a comet that lit up the sky and then left us," said Chief Celebrant Fr Patrick Devitt.
In a deeply moving tribute to her beloved daughter, Elga told mourners that her only child had lit up everyone's lives.
"Ana was larger than life. She came smashing into Tim's and my life like a comet, and she was welcomed immediately into our lives," she said.
"She lit up everyone's lives, from the time she was a baby she commanded respect and attention. When she walked into a room, you knew she was there, with her big eyes, her big smile, her hands up in the air.
"I celebrate her life today. I celebrate absolutely everything about her. She was beautiful and I loved her so much. I know that little actress is sitting up there looking down. Ana has ticked every box in life, she has done everything she wanted to do. She packed so much love and life and laughter into those 18 years."
She thanked everybody in the Mater Hospital who took care of her daughter after she had collapsed.
Gardaí investigating the teenager's sudden death are awaiting results from toxicology tests.
With tears in her eyes, Elga thanked a school friend of Ana's, Grace Barry, after she sang an emotional rendition of 'Thank You For The Days'.
Will Flanagan, chaplain in Loreto Abbey, said Ana has been described as a comet: "Fast, bright, but gone all too quickly." Ana's friends now have an angel on their shoulder, he added.