Knife-horror girl defies doctors for mum's funeral

The Greaney family

By Ralph Riegel

A YOUNG woman defied a life-threatening stab injury to bravely support her teenage sister as they buried their mother who died alongside their father in a tragic murder-suicide.

Michelle Greaney (21) insisted she attend the funeral mass of her mother, Valerie (49), in Cobh, Co Cork, to pay her last respects and support her sister, Sarah (16), who discovered the triple tragedy.

Valerie was stabbed to death last Sunday by her husband Michael (53), who suffered from severe mental health problems.


Mr Greaney, a Naval Service veteran who had been treated at the Central Mental Hospital (CMH), also stabbed his eldest daughter, Michelle.

He then ran to an upstairs bedroom and took his own life.

Michelle miraculously survived the stab wound which came within millimetres of her heart.

Sarah avoided injury after her mother, worried at Mr Greaney's agitated state, told her to go to a neighbour's house.

In a moving tribute to her mother, Sarah posted on social media yesterday that "I'd do anything to hug you one more time or have one more conversation or even a lecture.

"There's no words to describe how I'm feeling right now - I'll never forget you, you taught me so much and gave me everything I needed and more. It's such a shame you are gone."

Michelle was so weak from her injury that she was unable to walk up the main aisle of St Colman's Cathedral, entering instead via a side door and flanked by two medical staff from CUH.

The sisters wept as Fr Patrick O'Donoghue told how their inspirational mother adored life.

"Valerie dedicated herself completely to every moment with her family.

"Her strength of character still stands now as a powerful inspiration to her family."

The offertory gifts reflected the passions of her life - a family photo, a cup of tea, a bingo card and a uniform from Gill's restaurant where she worked.

Valerie's sister, Hylda, read a short tribute poem after Holy Communion.

"You can remember her and only that she is gone or you can cherish her memory and let it live on. You can cry and close your mind and be empty and turn your back or you do what she would want, smile, open your eyes, love and go on."

Michael Greaney will be buried after a private funeral ceremony today.

He will be interred beside his devoted wife, who had insisted he return home to continue his recovery from mental illness.

Mr Greaney had attacked a woman in May 2013 after becoming distraught over mounting business debts.