'Broken-hearted' | 

Bernadette Connolly's daughter Jade shares heartbreak that mum won't see her marry

“You brought so much love, light and laughter into all of our lives. A loving sister, a devoted daughter to our world, my granny and grandad.”

Clodagh Meaney

Mourners at the funeral of Dublin mum Bernadette Connolly today heard a heart-breaking tribute from her daughter Jade who is due to be married.

The 49-year-old mother of one vanished from Donabate beach on January 7th 2022.

Her body was then located almost two months later on a beach in Blackpool in the UK on March 3rd.

She was last seen after she took a taxi from Swords village to the Shoreline hotel in Donabate.

Bernadette was captured on CCTV walking from the hotel onto Donabate beach where she took a photograph of Malahide Bay on her phone at the end of the strand at 12.38pm.

Her black coat and handbag, which contained her phone, were later found on the beach by a passerby.

After being notified that her beloved mum was missing, Bernadette’s daughter Jade Connolly began making public appeals for information on her whereabouts.

Speaking at her funeral, Jade remembered her “beautiful, funny, kind and true” mother.

“You brought so much love, light and laughter into all of our lives. A loving sister, a devoted daughter to our world, my granny and grandad.”

Bernadette Connolly’s daughter Jade made public appeals following her mother’s disappearance (Brian Lawless/PA)

She said that she will never be able to forget the day that her mam went missing

“I will never forget the day, the day that changed all of our lives forever. Being told that you were missing, last seen on a beach, the sense of helplessness we all felt.”

“Police, helicopters, boats, sniffer dogs, men on horses all out in force trying to find you,” she said recalling that fateful day in January.

“That night I stayed up looking outside your bedroom window, hoping to see your face walk down the road, hoping this was just a dream,” she continued.

“I woke up, this wave came over me… your voice in my ear telling me ‘get up and don't give up’. A feeling of hope, a light in the dark. It was then I needed to fight for you, and I know you know that's exactly what I did.”

“Nothing will ever take your place and I know there will always be a void.”

Jade shared her heartbreak as her mother will not be around for her wedding to fiancé Dillin.

“Dillin is broken-hearted too mam. Broken-hearted that you won’t be able to walk me down the aisle to him. But I know you will be there deep down.”

She also shared how Bernadette had planned to fulfil her dream of becoming a life coach.

A picture of Bernadette posted by her daughter Jade

“You had a way with people… a hard worker loved by friends.”

“Your next venture was to become a life coach. I don't think you would have needed the training mam, you were that person for a lot of people”

Speaking at the funeral mass, celebrant Fr. Paul said that since January 7th, her family’s lives were turned upside down.

“Her disappearance broke their hearts but since that first day they never stopped looking for her.”

“Everything that was found, every phone call that came, every place that was important to her they visited and they followed up.”

“From the beginning they've been taken aback by the generosity of friends, work colleagues and strangers who searched the coastline and went out, in those early days, as long as there was daylight, to search for Bernadette,” the priest continued.

“When the news came through that Bernadette had been found there is that mixed blessing that a hope that you held that she would walk through the door again would not happen and after weeks of searching, of waiting, of praying there was also the knowing that she was coming home, now they could have her back.”

The celebrant also paid tribute to Bernadette’s daughter Jade for her strength and determination to find her missing mother.

“It’s been very tough but one of the extraordinary things [over the last couple of months] has been the extraordinary strength of Jade, and how she never gave up and how the support of her family helped her to be able to follow every shred of hope that was there she kept on going and kept on being positive.”

A photograph of a smiling Bernadette was projected onto the wall of the church with the words ‘forever in our hearts’.

As her casket entered St. Cronan’s Church for the funeral mass, bagpipes played as her work colleagues from DAA formed a guard of honour.

Items representing her life were presented by her close family and friends including her work diary, the tag her daughter Jade wore as a newborn in hospital, a hair dye kit, her dog Gucci’s collar, a box of Silk Cut purple cigarettes, and creme eggs.

Jade’s partner Dillin presented the pink towel that Bernadette brought with her to the beach on the day she disappeared.

Today's Headlines

More Irish News

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos