Funerals of two of the Berkeley tragedy victims take place in Dublin
Eimear Walsh and Eoghan Culligan, who tragically lost their lives in the Berkeley balcony collapse last week, were laid to rest today in Dublin.
Eoghan Culligan funeral took place at the Church of the Annunciation in Rathfarnham. Eoghan's parents Marie and Gerry and brothers Andrew and Stephen, were the chief mourners but there was a huge turnout to say goodbye for the DIT student. Mount Jerome Cemetery
Eoghan, an active member of Ballyboden-St Endas, had a guard of honour from the team and pupils of St Mary's School on his way into the church.
Symbols of Eoghan’s life were brought to the altar by his friends from school, college and fellow football team mates, with a commentary read by his uncle Henry.
They included his grandfather's old watch - which Eoghan had fixed up and worn proudly, an Obey hat which had been a gift from his girlfriend Sarah and a staff from a production of his beloved Lord of the Rings.
Eimear Walsh's funeral took place at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock, where Fr Paul Ward led the tributes to the 21-year-old.
"This day last week seemed endless for Jim, Patricia and Robert as they waited for any communication from Eimear or her friends," Fr Ward said.
"At 6 o clock in the evening they learned that she had died.
"Then there was the long journey to see her and to repatriate her. They had to try and come to terms with their grief and heartache while a swirl of publicity went on around them.
"Many words have been written over the past week. Ireland has been united in grief and has reflected on the loss of our group of young talented people who represented abroad all that is good about us.
"This morning Jim, Patricia and Robert are home with Eimear; once again a united family. They are surrounded by their friends and their parish family. Together we will celebrate Eimear’s life and her passing into the Eternal Life that is so central to our faith."
"I have known Eimear for most of her 21 years," Fr Ward added.
"She and a group of her friends were part of the ‘Family Mass Group’ throughout her primary school days. When they graduated to second level, Eimear and some of her friends stayed on in the Church Music Group. She was a beautiful singer and she advanced to take lessons with Honor Heffernan, who is here with us today.
"It’s interesting, but not surprising, that Eimear chose Medicine for her third level studies. I say that because she comes from a family who are most considerate and caring.
They constantly look outwards to their neighbours and to the community. Their home is one of genuine hospitality.
"Eimear made a life-choice to be a healer," he added.
"The purpose of our coming together today is to seek healing."
"The experience of death is always disturbing, but the death of a young person is very difficult. It raises questions we can’t answer," Fr Ward said.
"It challenges the very meaning and purpose of life. It faces us with our own mortality and it challenges our faith.
"To Eimear’s friends I want you to know that despite their own pain Jim and Trish are very conscious that you are hurting too and are left shell shocked by what has happened. When you are young, your own mortality is the furthest thing from your mind. And so it should be. As you look to the future you are now very aware of how precious and fragile life is.
"Appreciate the gift of life to its fullest and take on the mantle that Eimear has left behind, by making the world and the future a better place in her memory."
Two more of those killed in the tragedy, Olivia Burke and Niccolai Schuster, will have funerals tomorrow in Foxrock and Rathgar while Lorcán Miller will be laid to rest on Thursday.