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Tuesday 20 November 2018

Filipino flood victim told friends of pride in being Irish

Cecilia De
Jesus at her
Cecilia De Jesus at her citizenship ceremony

Kevin Keane

A FILIPINO care worker killed by freak flooding had recently told friends of her excitement on becoming an Irish citizen.

Cecilia De Jesus had proudly shared photographs of the day she attended her citizenship ceremony in Dublin's Cathal Brugha barracks.

Pictures show the 58-year-old, who was known to friends simply as Celia, holding up her naturalisation certificate in the company of Labour Party TD Eric Byrne.

He had officiated over the ceremony -- one of the first held in Ireland.

Mrs De Jesus was killed in Monday night's flash floods when water inundated her basement flat on Parnell Road, Harold's Cross in Dublin.

A close friend, Susana Golez, has told the Irish Independent that the mother of one was delighted when she moved in to the flat a few weeks ago.

"She was inviting her friends around. She would say 'please come visit me I have a nice flat'. The landlord was very good. I liked that place also, it was nice," Mrs Golez said.

Mrs De Jesus came to Ireland with her husband Angelito in 2001. He returned to the Philippines a number of years ago to take care of their son Michael Kevin (19) who is in the second year of a nursing degree at the University of Santo Tomas.

Another friend and colleague from Our Lady's Hospice in Harold's Cross, Anne Smith, said Mrs De Jesus was planning for her retirement in the Philippines.

"She had a very generous heart and helped all her relatives. She sent back money every week, that's why she was working," Ms Smith said.

The CEO of Our Lady's described Mrs De Jesus as a gentle soul who was always willing to help others.

"Family was extremely important to her. She was very devoted to her son and made sure he was well looked after," Mo Flynn said.

Mrs De Jesus's husband is currently making plans to travel to Ireland to help repatriate his wife's remains.

Fundraising efforts are also under way among the Filippino community to help pay for her funeral.

Meanwhile, arrangements have been announced for the funeral of the other victim of Monday's floods.

Garda Ciaran Jones (25) was swept into the upper part of the River Liffey at the Ballysmuttan Bridge in Co Wicklow while trying to divert motorists.

His remains will be brought from his home in Manor Kilbride, Co Wicklow, to St Brigid's Church, Kilbride, at 5.30pm today.

He will be buried after funeral Mass at 12pm on Friday in the adjoining cemetery.

Members of the force will form a special honour guard at the funeral, which will be a family occasion.

A tricolour will be draped over Garda Jones's coffin.

Irish Independent

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