THE sister of the woman who died following a suspected gas leak in a hotel believes her younger sister died so she could live, mourners heard yesterday.
Patricia Reidy was found unconscious in the same Co Cork hotel room in which her sister Miriam died last Sunday, following a suspected build-up of carbon monoxide gas.
The two sisters were staying at the Trident Hotel in Kinsale as part of a hen weekend.
Yesterday, hundreds of mourners packed into the small Church of the Visitation in Ballyhahill, Co Limerick, for the 35-year-old's funeral Mass.
Patricia, who survived the incident after spending 24 hours on a ventilator in Cork University Hospital, was unable to attend yesterday's Mass but their cousin Sean read out a letter she wrote to her sister.
"You had the biggest heart a person could ever have and I honestly do think you have given your life so that I could live on and that is what I will do for you," Patricia wrote.
The 37-year-old recalled the special relationship the sisters shared.
"I'm going to miss your smile and your style and I'm really going to miss you. You were a giver. . . I hardly had to look at something and you would let me borrow it or wear it.
"I love you Mir and I always will. You will always be with me in my heart. May you rest in peace now sweet angel. . ."
Miriam's eldest sister Siobhan also spoke at yesterday's mass where mourners were told how her parents "loved and idolised" their three daughters.
Mourners were led by Miriam's mother Josie and her father John.
In his homily, parish priest Fr Gerard O'Leary said last Sunday was a day "that was to change the Reidy family's life forever".
The parish priest said the entire community had been plunged into the "depths of despair and disbelief".
"Sometimes it is easier to walk away and escape rather than take on the horror of what has taken place, but we can't do that. . . we have to face the circumstances of what life throws up before us. This is a time for guts and for God," he added.
The small village of Ballyhahill came to a standstill during yesterday Mass as hundreds of people lined the streets.
Large crowds accompanied the cortege afterwards on Miriam's final journey to Kilfergus cemetery in Glin where she was laid to rest.