Special needs teacher and mother of three Jackie McGovern, who was killed last week by a getaway car used moments earlier in a Dublin robbery, has been remembered as a warm vibrant woman who loved the beauty and colours of nature.
Jackie (54) was walking with her friend Audrey Behan on Avondale Road in Killiney when the car came speeding down Ballinclea Road at 9.20pm on Monday March 10.
The car shot across the junction and ran straight into Jacqueline and Audrey.
Jackie suffered injuries that proved to be fatal. Audrey’s injuries were not life threatening.
Jackie, from Churchview Road in Killiney, worked as a teacher in a class for children with autism in the nearby Our Lady of Good Counsel girls national school.
“Jackie loved the children in her care just as she loved her own family,” said Fr Peadar Murney at her funeral mass in the Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Killiney, Co Dublin today.
Symbols of her life brought to the altar were a Victoria sandwich cake brought by her son Cormac, a symbol of Jackie’s love for baking.
A trowel symbolised her love of gardening. Some Clarins hand cream represented her love of self care. A packet of polo mints, her key fob for Johnstown school, and childhood annuals were also included.
Fr Murney told mourners there is such an air of unreality about the manner in which Jackie left us.
“This is not the way we envisaged the death of someone we love. We ask ourselves, how can this happen? That the reckless actions of the few can bring so much grief and pain to a family, and so much grief and pain to a community.”
“How can things like this happen to good people?” he asked.
During the prayers of the faithful Jackie’s friend Audrey was prayed for, as well as the emergency services who attended the scene nearby on the night Jackie was killed.
Paying tribute to his mother, Oisin McGovern said she was someone who was better at listening than talking, and baking than buying.
He spoke of a warm, loving and caring woman who put the needs of others before her own.
“The memories we have of her are only good. Never a bad word spoken, never a raised voice, unless absolutely necessary of course, she was an incredible mother who always took the time to ask how our day was, how our weekend went, and how everyone in our lives were doing,” he said.
“The praise she gave was unconditional, the love she had was always true, and that goes for all her family and friends. She adored all of them. The walks she went on, the aqua-aerobics, the arts and crafts time, the trips down to her mum and dad’s for a cuppa, and the visits she made to each one of her friends when they needed her, was all done with a smile, a laugh, and sometimes a gin and tonic,” Oisin added.
“There were times she came in from work saying she was tired, and times she came in telling us hilarious and sweet stories from the Meadow, and times she came in and stuck on the kettle and sat down. Sometimes we would hear a wrapper being opened from the kitchen, and that would be a little treat to herself, and it was always well deserved,” he explained.
“The love she shared with our father Brendan is something you would only ever find in a fairytale. It was a dream that they started living since they first met,” said Oisin.
“There was no beating around the bush, no snarky comments, no cynicism or anything like that. It was just pure love she had for everyone. My family are just so lucky to have had her as a mother,” he added.
“We can only all wish that because of this incident we will all become better people and search for happiness when it is so hard to find. All the barriers we put up for ourselves and the politics of life suddenly disappear, and as my dad says, some good blows in bad winds.”
Oisin also praised Jackie’s friend Audrey and her family.
Because of the Covid-19 restrictions only the family were allowed into the church. Neighbours, colleagues, friends and the wider community listened to the requiem mass on loudspeakers as they stood dispersed around the church grounds and car park.
Oisin finished with a few of his mother’s favourite quotes. “What’s meant to be is meant to be”, “It will all work out the way it's meant to”, and most true of all he said - “Smile and the world smiles with you.”
Chief mourners at the funeral were Jackie’s husband Brendan, children Oisin (28), Cormac (24) and Clodagh (21), parents Margo and Paul, and siblings Christina, Damien and Frankie, and her best friend Audrey.
After funeral mass the mourners applauded Jackie’s family as they embarked on their journey to Shanganagh Cemetery, Shankill.
Covid-19 restrictions meant they could not embrace them personally.
Gardai today arrested three men in their 20s in relation to the investigation. They are currently detained at Dun Laoghaire and Dundrum Garda Stations under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.