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Monday 18 December 2017

Olivia's family: please remember her as full of love rather than as a victim

Olivia Dunlea
Olivia Dunlea
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

TRAGIC mother-of-three Olivia Dunlea has been laid to rest after a moving funeral Mass this morning.

Her three grieving children, Aaron (12) Megan (10) and Daragh (9) sat at the front of the church and were comforted by their father Adrian


The 36-year-old Cork woman was found stabbed and burned to death in her home at Pembroke Crescent on Sunday morning by emergency services.

The funeral mass took place at Ballinlough Church earlier today and saw a huge crowd gather to pay tribute to the life of their fallen relative and friend.

One of the speakers at the mass was her aunt Sally, who paid a glowing, warm and at times funny tribute to Olivia.

"We have seen a lot of images of Olivia this week but we want to share the images of our Olivia," she said.

The aunt recalled playing with her dead niece as children and having fun.

"When she had kids of her own she took that fun with her - she enjoyed everything to do with play and dressing up.

"She enjoyed everything with being young and full of life," she said.

Olivia brought that warmth to her children's lives and Sally told mourners of that fun side.

"Megan told me that her favourite thing to do with her Mum was to invade Penneys and the girls would go home," she said.

Olivia's favourite Disney character was Tinkerbell, her favourite colours were pink and purple, her favourite lipstick colour was pink.

"They are the things you didn't hear but they are the things that we

love," she added.

In a final tribute Sally spoke of Olivia's generosity of spirit and asked mourners to remember her as a living person and not as a victim.

"She was such a sweet and lovely girl - full of love, full of mischief. When you remember her, remember that," she said.

Fr Sean O'Sullivan, parish priest for Passage summed up for many, their grief at the sad passing of such a warm person.

"It is difficult to know what to say, or what anyone can say at a moment like this," he said.

"In some many ways it is wrong to find ourselves here this morning.

"It is wrong that Olivia's life or anyone's life should be taken from them.

"It is wrong that Aaron, Megan and Daragh should be cruelly robbed of the loving and caring that Olivia so wished to give them.

"It is wrong that Jimmy Ann and their family will never be fully complete again," he said.

Fr O'Sullivan spoke of the out pouring of sadness at the news of the brutal death.

"Olivia's tragic death has left us feeling numb and shaken.

"Even in our world that is sadly all too accustomed to tragic violence and headlines her death, the taking of a life of a young mother with a young family has touched something deep inside so many people.

"So many people I know from across the country have called to express how sorry they felt for her and her family.

"We are left with so many questions - how can such things happen and why do good people like Olivia seem to pay the price?" he said. Olivia's coffin was draped in a white sheet and had a smiling happy picture of the tragic mother at its head.

There was a stencilled wreath with the simple word "Mum" written in white flowers.

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