The removal of twins Chelsea and Christy Cawley (8) and their older sister Lisa Cash (18) took place yesterday evening ahead of their funeral this morning in Brookfield, Tallaght
By the side of the road, the community gathered in grief and numb silence to watch the procession, paying their respects to the three children who had lived amongst them, as a piper piped a low lament.
It was just a few short months ago that Chelsea and Christy Cawley had stood proudly in their finery at St Aidan’s Church in Brookfield to make their First Holy Communion, their older sister, Lisa Cash celebrating alongside them with their mother, Margaret – known as Twink.
There were unbearably sad echoes of that happy day as the church organist played Let the Little Children Come Onto Me, as the three white coffins of the three siblings, who died after a violent incident at their home in Tallaght last weekend, were carried into the church.
Behind, walked Margaret. Broken-hearted and barely able to stand in her overwhelming grief, she had to be supported by family members.
Amongst the crowd that gathered were many children who wept tears for their lost friends.
Outside the church were heart-shaped floral tributes for each lost loved one, surrounded with white carnations and roses - Chelsea in her Communion dress, Christy solemn in his dapper Communion suit, Lisa lovely in a formal pink evening dress.
Another showed a picture of Margaret holding her baby nephew David on his christening day, surrounded by her children – her eldest daughter, Margaret, Lisa, Mikey, Chelsea and Christy, all smiling and happy on this special day.
Fr Bill O’Shaughnessy welcomed the mourners to the church for the removal last night, saying Chelsea, Christy and Lisa are “forever loved and sadly mourned” by their beloved family.
“We have been robbed of three young lives,” he said, while their family have not only been robbed of their lives but also “of our innocence”.
“Our sense of what is normal – that is shattered, broken,” he said.
“People are stopping each other in the streets, in the shops in disbelief, ‘how could this happen’?”
Fr O’Shaughnessy said the family wanted to give very special thanks to everyone for their support, love and kindness.
“Being together makes us stronger and helps us take the next step and the next step,” he said.
He urged mourners to take the time to look at the artwork from St Aidan’s School and St Bridget’s school, brought to communicate the children’s appreciation of Chelsea, Christy and Lisa.
Meanwhile the community was also urged to “talk about what’s going on in your heads and your hearts”.
The funeral of the three siblings will take place today at the church in Brookfield.