The funeral of Valerie French-Kilroy took place yesterday in her native Cork.
The 41-year-old mother of three was found dead at her home at Kilbree Lower, Westport last Friday. Her husband James Kilroy (46 ) was charged with her murder at special sitting of Castlebar District Court last Sunday, where he was remanded in custody to Castlerea prison and he is due to appear again today (Friday, June 21 ) at Harristown District Court in the prison.
The late Ms French-Kilroy was laid to rest yesterday following her funeral service at St Fachtna’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Rosscarbery, Co Cork, with her burial taking place afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.
The chief mourners were Valerie’s mother, Mrs Valerie French, Valerie’s brother David, her sisters Suzette, Hilary and Veronica and their families, together with a wide family circle from Cork and further afield. Valerie’s colleagues from the HSE travelled to Cork also to join a very large congregation of her friends, parishioners and the wider community.
The Funeral Service was led by the local Church of Ireland rector and Dean of Ross, the Very Reverend Christopher Peters, together with the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton. Dean Peters preached the sermon, and particular prayers were said for Valerie’s three young children.
During the Service, Valerie’s brother David spoke about her and said: "Valerie’s three young sons are almost unaware of the catastrophe that has unfolded around them.
"Their wellbeing and their future will be our priority just as it was Valerie’s. We are here to celebrate Valerie’s wonderful life not to remember the horrific circumstances of her violent death.
"The name Valerie means strong and valiant. As you all know Valerie was an immensely caring and loving person. It was her calling both at work and at home throughout her life."
In his sermon, Dean Peters, who officiated at Valerie’s wedding in the Cathedral in 2008, said that he remembers Valerie’s ready smile and laugh. He said: "She was someone at ease in and with herself happy to be a bit different and to do things differently.
"It is the precious memories of her life which must always define our memories of Valerie and her marriage to James and not the tragic and awful event of this last week."
Her family released a statement this week thanking people for the sympathy and support they had received since her death. The statement read: "As a family we have been in great shock since we received the news of our dear Valerie’s death at her home in County Mayo.
"Our family has been gathering from different parts of Ireland and from around the world. We are heartbroken and it is all too much, at this early stage, for us to take in.
"Valerie was a much loved daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend and colleague to many. She was a loving wife to James, and adored her three children. Valerie was an immensely caring and loving person - this was her calling at work and at home throughout her life.
"We are hugely grateful for the outpouring of sorrow following Valerie’s death, and also for the goodwill and practical support so many people are showing to us.
"Our immediate concern now is Valerie’s funeral and burial at home here later this week in West Cork which she adored. As we do this we hope and pray that the privacy and tragedy of our grief will be respected. Again we thank everyone for their kindness to us."