'Her death is the grim reality of violence in our society' - Mourners told at funeral of murdered Nicola
A mother-of-three, who was brutally murdered in a flat in Cork, had had more than her fair share of suffering in her short life, mourners at her funeral were told.
In a moving tribute to Nicola Collins (39), her sister Carly said she had had no idea of how beautiful she was, inside and out, or about how much she was loved.
“She was so very hard on herself and if she were to speak about how things have unfolded, she would blame herself.
“But Nic, this was in no way your fault,” she told the congregation at the Church of Our Lady and St Brendan in Tralee, Co Kerry.
Ms Collins sustained multiple head and neck injuries at a flat on Popham’s Road in Farranree, Cork on March 27.
Two men arrested in connection with the investigation, including a 42-year-old who was arrested at the scene where Ms Collins’s body was found, have been released without charge.
Files are being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Her sister recalled a loving, intelligent, gifted and honest woman, who people took to immediately.
“Nic was a good person who always spoke her mind. Honesty was one of her qualities,” she continued.
“Despite what some might perceive as a strong, stoic exterior, in her presence I think people could sense her softness and vulnerability.
“Her sons, Nick, Adam and Michael were the source of hope and dreams for her and she loved them more than anything in the world.”
She said she hoped Nicola realised how much she was loved by those who had accompanied her on her life journey, especially her parents, Kay and Michael, and that she was now at peace.
Fr Pádraig Walsh, PP of St Brendan’s Parish, said Nicola’s death was more than a statistic in the “grim reality of increased violence in our society” but the “tragic loss of a daughter, a mother, a sister and a friend”.
“Nobody deserves to die as Nicola did. We struggle to come to terms with her death and the way she was taken from us through such violent means,” Fr Walsh said.
He said the community of St Brendan’s Park, Tralee, where Nicola grew up, had gathered “in shock and disbelief” as a community and as neighbours and friends to offer support to her mom, Kay, her dad, Michael, her sons, Nick, Adam and Michael, and also her former husband Elaije.
“And in the darkness of the days of this past week her family has recalled the happy days of Nicola’s life. Beautiful Nicola, so pretty and so outgoing.
“Her family has recalled her love and her goodness.
“Yes, Nicola had given so much and Nicola had so much yet to give,” he said.
He recalled Nicola also had her own struggles and these had been dark days for her and those who loved her.
She was laid to rest in Rath Cemetery following her funeral mass.