Tragic Rose left 'numb' as she lays Ann to rest beside Rachel
Published 21/09/2010 | 05:00
SHE was a loyal and loving daughter with a "huge capacity for forgiveness", the organiser of the family and a fighter to the very end.
After a two-year battle with cancer, Ann Callaly (32) was yesterday laid to rest alongside her beloved sister, Rachel.
The Church of the Holy Child in Dublin's Whitehall was filled for the funeral Mass. The congregation included gardai and detectives who had worked on the Rachel O'Reilly murder investigation.
Rose Callaly spoke of her "brave" daughter Ann and told the congregation: "I do not know how we are going to cope and wonder what is to become of us."
Rose and her husband, Jim, their sons, Declan, Paul and Anthony and grandchildren were supported at the funeral by extended family, close friends and neighbours. Parish priest Fr Michael Carey, chief celebrant, told them that Ann's young and sad death had shocked them all.
"Our hearts go out to the Callaly family whose hearts are broken once again," he said.
A white funeral pall was placed on the coffin by Declan and Paul as Rose placed a Bible alongside mementoes of Ann's life -- a photograph of her marking the end of her treatment last year, her treasured teddy bear and a badminton racquet.
Nothing would describe the pain the family had experienced watching Ann suffer, Rose told mourners.
Her daughter had been her constant companion over the past two-and-a-half years and had made her a better person. "I am numb at the thought of life without her," she added.
"We will all miss her so much -- our very special girl who brought us so much happiness," said Rose, to prolonged applause from mourners, some of whom wiped away tears.
The funeral Mass, presided over by Fr Carey, was concelebrated by parish curate Fr Bernard Collier, Fr Joe Jones, Chaplain at DCU and family friend Fr Sean O'Neill.
As the family left the church for the burial at Balgriffin cemetery, Rose was warmly embraced by Brigid McLaughlin, whose sister Siobhan Kearney died in similar circumstances to Rachel.