THE brave sister of a tragic model paid a warm tribute to her as thousands of mourners gathered to pay their last respects.
Laughter filled the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Ballinlough, Cork, as Deirdre Lynch's sister Kate celebrated her life.
Deirdre (20), a University College Cork student from Browningstown Park, Douglas, in Cork, was working in her part-time job at popular restaurant Eco's when she collapsed.
She was rushed to Cork University Hospital but doctors could not restart her heart and she was pronounced dead on Saturday night.
Kate read from WH Auden's famous poem of grief 'Funeral Blues' and then spoke briefly about her relationship with her sister.
"First and foremost, Deirdre was my little sister and I could not ask for a better one," she said.
"I would have done anything for her and still would today. No one can deny that my sister was an absolute stunner.
"Whenever I was tired Deirdre was always there to put me right back into my box, in a sisterly way, and say: 'Stop the dramatics – and get over it'.
"Her humour was so unique to her, as anyone knows who follows her on twitter. All the great things said about Deirdre are true – I couldn't come close to telling you about how great my sister was. We all love you, Deirdre," Kate added.
Yesterday's requiem Mass was a celebration and at times joyous occasion as her family and thousands of friends paid tribute to the young woman.
Among the symbols of her life presented to the altar were her Irish dancing shoes and a feather boa to signify her love of fashion.
Father Noel Keogh also paid a warm tribute as he recalled Deirdre's warmth and good humour.
"Deirdre started work last Saturday doing what she did best – serving people. She loved her job and she was loved by everyone who worked with her. No one could have foreseen the tragedy.
"News of Deirdre's death sent a wave of shock and heartbreak through this community," said Fr Keogh.
He told Deirdre's family that there were no words to explain why their loved one died but that their memories would help soothe their hurt.
"She was a positive person – Deirdre didn't focus on problems – she saw solutions," he said.
Deirdre's former dance school, Attridge Dance Academy, led a guard of honour as her coffin was carried from the church.