Saturday 1 October 2016

Emotional tribute to mum found dead in Holland

David Raleigh

Published 15/11/2015 | 02:30

Police at the scene of where the body of an Irishwoman was found
Police at the scene of where the body of an Irishwoman was found

The children of a Limerick mother of eight, who died in suspicious circumstances in Holland, have paid tribute to their "amazing" mum who loved them all unconditionally with her "healing hugs".

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Martina O'Brien Viguurs, (64), a former nurse and air hostess, was found dead last Monday in her Dutch home, having sustained severe head injuries.

Her husband, Arnold 'Arno' Viguurs, has appeared before a court in the city of Den Bosch and is awaiting a decision on whether or not he will face charges over her death.

Speaking this Sunday at their mother's funeral Mass in Rathkeale, Co Limerick, four of Ms O'Brien's devoted children spoke lovingly of "an incredibly special woman", who "is still a special soul".

Daughter Martina said: "I am so proud to bear her name. We even had our own song about our shared name that we used to sing together since I was tiny."

Fighting back tears, she added: "Each one of us eight kids had our own special things with mum that made us feel treasured and unique."

Hundreds of mourners thronged into St Mary's Church to pay their final respects. Ms O'Brien's brother, John, spoke fondly of his sister and said that the past few days had been "enormously difficult" for the family.

Dutch media have reported that police are investigating whether or not a blunt implement was used.

Addressing the packed congregation, Mr O'Brien added: "I invite people to erase any image that might be in their minds from what they may have read in the press of recent days, and replace those images with the ones that you hold of the Martina you knew - strong, powerful, loyal, courageous, loving."

After reading emotional tributes to their mother, Ms O'Brien's children and siblings shoulder-linked each other in a group hug as the congregation applauded in support. Ms O'Brien was then laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery.

Sunday Independent

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