'I know Natalia will never leave our side' - funeral of mum-of-three Natalia (30)
The funeral of a mother-of-three who lost her life last weekend has heard of how her death is "unspeakably painful" for her family and wider community.
There were also prayers for Natalia Karaczyn’s husband Rafal at her funeral Mass in Sligo today.
Hundreds of people, many of them members of the local Polish community, gathered to say farewell to the young mother of three who died in such tragic circumstances last weekend.
On Thursday, her husband (32) appeared on the local courthouse charged with her murder.
At Friday’s ceremony, Natalia’s sister Magdalena praised her devotion to her three sons who were comforted by their grandmother and other relatives outside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Stressing the bond between the three young boys and they way they look after each other, Magdalena said: "That is what they learned from their amazing mummy and daddy who created a loving home for them."
During the ceremony Fr Brian Conlon, chaplain at Sligo University Hospital, prayed for Natalia’s three children asking that they find peace and consolation.
"We pray for her husband Rafal. May the Lord support him at this time," he added.
There were prayers too for Gardai who have provided support to the family during the recent difficult days and also for the community which has rallied around the family.
Magdalena told mourners: "I cannot describe how much I will miss my sister and how much the boys will miss their mummy. But I know she will never leave our side and will be in our hearts."
There were smiles as she explained the Polish reticence about saying "I love you" and how "after a few drinks", she, a long-time resident of Sligo used to ring Natalia in Poland and say “"I love you so much".
She told of her delight when Natalia and her family moved to Sligo four years ago and how well her sister had fitted in.
"Her dedication to her kids was exceptional. They had everything they needed and more," she said. "When you look at those three boys all you see is love. It comes from their mother."
As the coffin was carried out into the May sunlight, the boys apparently unaware of their loss, were hugged by Natalia's friends and relatives.
Magdalena said she couldn’t possibly answer all the messages for sympathy she had received, "but I really value the support".
"Without all my friends and my family I would not have been able to get through it – everyone, the whole town,you are all amazing. I can’t really belief all the help we are getting," she said. A GoFundMe page has also been set up for Natalia’s children.
Father StanisławKardas, Chaplain to the Polish Community in Sligo, and the main celebrant told the congregation that Natalia’s death was "unspeakably painful".
"It seems incomprehensible to our minds that she should be taken from this life," he said speaking in Polish.
"In the face of this death of a young woman, beloved mother of three little children, we are invited to find, in the deepest recesses of our hearts, and to ponder, the hope that comes from our eternal vocation."
Natalia, from the city of Gorzów Wielkopolski in western Poland, is also survived by her parents Regina and Senom Kurmin and two brothers Jedrzej and Wojciech.
After the funeral Mass the funeral travelled to the Lakelands Crematorium in Cavan.