Catherine's heartbroken sister 'won't come home without her'
THE sister of missing Irish woman Catherine Gowing will not come home from Wales without her, their mother has said.
Ms Gowing's heartbroken mother Maureen told the Irish Independent that she had given up hope of finding her alive "days ago".
Speaking at the family farm in Clareen, Co Offaly, shortly after she was informed that police were about to search a quarry, she was hopeful that her daughter's body would be returned.
Catherine's sister Emma has been in Wales since the search effort began.
"She called me earlier and she would be usually ranting and raving," Ms Gowing said.
Instead, when she spoke to her daughter, "a calm" had come over her because she thought Catherine's body would be found soon.
"She's not coming home without her sister, they adored each other," she said.
Ms Gowing said that she was "coping" with the tragedy but that she'd only had a few moments when she was thinking straight.
Catherine's disappearance has had a particularly traumatic effect on her father John, who is ill.
"He's not very well. He's just crying all the time. I won't say that it's going to kill him but he's not sleeping," she said.
Ms Gowing described her daughter as a "rose that fell from Heaven" and said "she was too good for this world".
Catherine was working as a vet in Wales before her disappearance and her mother said that her first love was animals.
"When she was a child she once asked me if it would be a sin to love animals more than people," Maureen remembered.
She said that as a child Catherine would sit on the farm surrounded by texel sheep.
"She loved the sheep so much she wouldn't let her father sell them, so they lived and died on the farm," she said.
Just five weeks ago Catherine was back to visit the family and her beloved dog Bobby.
Among Catherine's other passions in life was travelling.
"She would travel until the money ran out," Maureen said.
Tragically Catherine had planned to return to Ireland permanently before this Christmas and had secured a job as a vet here.
Maureen said many of the friends that her daughter made had been in touch with her.
"Her friends have written to me to say they would go to Wales to help the search. There's no point now," she said.