Sunday 21 December 2014

Nun is laid to rest after tragic drowning accident

Emma Jane Hade

Published 18/08/2014 | 02:30

The remains of Sr Imelda Carew are carried from Mountmellick Parish Church. Picture: Alf Harvey
The remains of Sr Imelda Carew are carried from Mountmellick Parish Church. Picture: Alf Harvey
Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Denis Nulty at the funeral
Sr Imelda Carew

The small community in which Sister Imelda Carew held a quiet but dominant presence came to a standstill yesterday, as hundreds of mourners gathered to celebrate the life of the kind nun who tragically drowned.

Sr Carew (67) died after getting into difficulty while swimming on Inch beach in Co Kerry last Thursday evening,

Her companion Sr Paula Buckley also lost her life in the incident.

Fr Micheál Murphy, the parish priest in Mountmellick, Co Laois, where the Presentation Sister was based, said the "kind" woman would be sorely missed within the tightknit parish.

"In the community where she lived for many years, she had a very kind, a very gentle presence, and that will certainly be missed by her neighbours and friends," he added.

Bishop Denis Nulty from the Kildare and Leighlin diocese was the principal celebrant of yesterday afternoon's funeral mass in the parish.

Fr Murphy explained that she had been involved in a number of local community groups, and said that she spent most of her life teaching.

"She was the provincial leader in the congregation, she was the leader of the South East Province. She was a teacher for many years. She taught in Clonmel, in Durrow, Co Laois, and in Haywood Community School," he added.

Sr Imelda and Sr Paula (70) passed away after they got into difficulty in the water. They were understood to have been just 30m from the shore.

The alarm was raised by the third member of their party. who was not swimming, shortly after 7pm.

The pair were airlifted to hospital but were pronounced dead later.

Hundreds attended Sr Imelda's funeral in Mountmellick yesterday. Sr Paula will be laid to rest tomorrow following a funeral mass at Cashel Parish Church.

Irish Independent

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