Tragic Jolanta and Enrika to be laid out in school
THE remains of tragic Jolanta Lubiene and her daughter Enrika (8) will be laid out in the building where Jolanta herself went to school as a child.
The slain mother and daughter will arrive in the family's native village, Gedrimai in Lithuania, close to the Latvian border, tomorrow afternoon after being expatriated from Ireland.
Family and neighbours poignantly recalled how they had made plans to move home permanently in just a fortnight's time. Jolanta had already bought their airline tickets.
Instead, however, they will be laid to rest in a picturesque old graveyard, with views overlooking their beloved Lithuanian plains, where nesting storks are a familiar sight.
The heartbroken family are still currently awaiting the arrival of the remains and together with friends, family and neighbours will mourn Lubiene and Enrika in the community centre, which was once the primary school where Jolanta was a pupil.
Jolanta's sister, Kristina explained that the Catholic funeral will be very similar to an Irish style funeral. It will take place in a beautiful ancient red-brick church in the nearby village of Gadunavas, 10 km away.
A new plot in the graveyard near the church had to be purchased by the family, following the violent and shocking deaths in Killorglin, Co Kerry.
"I suppose this will become our family grave where we will all be buried," said Kristina, her eyes filled with tears.
"It is very sad that Jolanta will be laid out in the building where she and I both went to school when we were children," she said.
"And of course, Enrika's school and her friends were in Kerry," she added, with a tiny sad smile.
After the funeral, the family will host an elaborate dinner for mourners in Gedrimai, in accordance with Lithuanian tradition.
The village lay silent yesterday, broken only by small clusters of elderly woman, gathering to discuss the tragedy and upcoming funeral in saddened tones.
Neighbour William Pieriene told how Jolanta had come to visit his family every time she came home, always bringing a small but much appreciated gift. One time, it was a little keyring in the shape of a cat.
He revealed that at one stage, all six of the Santo family - Jolanta, her sister and brothers - lived and worked in Ireland because of the economic situation in Lithuania.
He described the family as cultured, kind-hearted people. "I have known them for a long time," he said.
The bodies of Ms Lubiene and her daughter were found in their rented home at Langford Downs in Killorglin at about 8.30pm on Sunday June 16th when gardaí called to the house after a friend of the dead woman was unable to contact her.