'She was the best Mam anyone could ever ask for' Heartbreaking funeral of mother and daughter takes place in Cork

The coffins of Geraldine and Louise Clancy are carried from the church
The coffins of Geraldine and Louise Clancy are carried from the church

Throngs of mourners turned out in the rain yesterday to say their final goodbye to the mother and daughter who tragically died in a freak accident on their way to do Christmas shopping on December 22.

The two coffins of mother and daughter, Geraldine (58) and Louise Clancy (22), poignantly stood side by side at the top of the blue and white St. Martin’s Church in Kilworth in Cork during the emotional St. Stephen’s Day funeral service.

Geraldine and her daughter Louise tragically drowned after their car was involved in a collision with another vehicle and veered through a ditch into a flooded field on the Kilworth to Ballyduff road last Tuesday.

Geraldine's son Declan Clancy smiled through his grief as he paid a moving tribute to his mother and sister with his voice breaking at the end as he told them:  “I love Lou and Mam. We’ll never forget you.”

The Cork student sat at the front of the packed church with his sister, Fiona and father Noel.  A huge crowd of mourners started arriving an hour and half before the service and stood in the pouring rain as they waited to pay their respects.

Devastated Declan Clancy described his mother as a “brilliant Mam and wife”.

He said:  “We all loved her dearly. We were a very happy family.”

He smiled as he told a story of how his Dad first met his mother at a Macra na Feirme meeting in Fermoy.

He said:  “His first sighting ever of Mam was at a Macra meeting .He suddenly proposed – how romantic was that!

“A minor detail, he proposed her for a role in the Fermoy Macra executive. But their love blossomed from there. The rest is history.

“She was the best Mam anyone could ever ask for. She loved us, encouraged us, consoled us, made sure we had every opportunity in life from going to college to studying abroad. Her love for us and Dad was endless.

“We were continuously told these last few days that we, her children were her proudest achievement. Yet we are so proud of her.”

Declan Clancy told the mourners his sister Louise had “packed a lot into her 22 years”.

He said: “As a sister Lou was the best you could ask for

“She shone bright with excitement as she faced every challenge with an energy I could only be inspired by. She was the most genuine person I knew. Louise had many true friends that she loved and they loved her in return.

“I want to share a few words from one of those friends, Hannah. It sums up Louise better than I ever could.

“‘Louise was herself at all times. She was proud of the things she cared about and few people cared the way that Louise cared. She was warm-hearted, clever and above all, Louise was the bravest person I’ve ever met.’.”

He continued his tribute to his sister by telling of his young sister’s inspiration journey through life.

He said: “She seemed to decide early on that the challenges she came up against, and they were many, would never defeat her.

“Things were really going Louise’s way over the last few years.  She was storming ahead in university, her journalistic ambitions were taking off, she had a boyfriend, Dudley, who she really loved. No one deserved that happiness more.

“When Louise passed away it was the happiest she had ever been. Louise it was an honour. Thank you.  You could not have been more loved."