Mum was 'just brilliant' says daughter Sharon
'She was just brilliant. She was always out and about doing things. You would never put her as a woman in her eighties. She loved her style, her reading and her high heels.'
Those were the words of brave daughter Sharon on Saturday as she spoke of her late mother who had perished just a few hours before during the night's fire at Clohass House.
The tragedy on their doorstep was very much of the minds of Sunday Mass goers who attended St. David's church in Davidstown.
Parish priest Father James Nolan led prayers for deceased Philomena and her young house guest Gabriela Gruznova who perished the previous day.
'She was full of hospitality,' mused the PP, recalling that the deceased woman was a regular contributor to parish fund raisers and a participant in local activities. 'She was an outstanding friend and a lady,' declared neighbour Jimmy Nolan. 'It is such a tragedy. Mrs. O'Rourke was so gentle and so appreciative.'
The word 'lady' was the common denominator in the thoughts of everyone in the Clohass/Butcher's Lane area as they tried to sum up the personality of the former teacher.
'A real lady,' summed up former neighbour Jim Ryan, 'and it is a real tragedy that this should happen. She was a really nice woman.'
'She was a lovely gentle, kind lady,' echoed another acquaintance.
'It's a terrible sad thing,' observed Deputy John Browne when asked about events at the O'Rourke home. 'They are a private family but very popular within the local community.'