The brother of a woman found dead in her home in Westport last week, asked the congregation at her funeral service yesterday to pray for her family.

According to today’s Irish Independent, David French told mourners that mother of three Valerie French-Kilroy (41) was "an immensely caring and loving person" who had devoted her life as an occupational therapist to helping others.

The mother of three young sons was found dead at her Islandeady home last Friday and a post mortem examination indicated she had met a violent death.

Her husband, James Kilroy, was charged last Sunday before Castlebar District Court with the murder of his wife on June 14 and he is due before Harristown court later today.

Hundreds attended the funeral service at St Fachtna's Church of Ireland Cathedral in Rosscarbery, west Cork.

Mrs French-Kilroy is survived by her three sons Oscar, Axel and Zak.

The service was led by the Dean of Ross Rev Christopher Peters and the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross Dr Paul Colton.

Dean Peters had celebrated Valerie's wedding ceremony in St Fachtna's in 2008. David French paid an emotional tribute to his sister - and asked everyone to remember that her "three young sons are almost unaware of the catastrophe that has unfolded around them."

"We are here to celebrate Valerie’s wonderful life not to remember the horrific circumstances of her death. The name Valerie means strong and valiant," he said.

Mr French  said his sister, throughout her life and career, never lost her warm laugh, the sense of fun she inherited from her adored father and her compassion for others.

"She had an immense capacity for work and a deep connection with people across the community wherever she was. Valerie could also be very serious but only when necessary," he said.

His sister adored music, festivals, art, craft, storytelling, nature, gardening but above all her family and children.

He asked mourners to remember his sister's three young sons.

"Above all else please pray for the future of Valerie’s three sons," he said.

Mr French concluded with a moving tribute to the Gardaí, Health Service Executive (HSE) and Tusla as well as all those who had supported his family over the past week.

"As a close family friend often says: We are only put here to help each other. Valerie was put here to help us," he said.

Dean Peters said anyone who met Valerie remembered her by her ready smile and warm laughter.

"She was someone at ease in and with herself happy to be a bit different and to do things differently," he said.

"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."

A special statement had been issued by the family via the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne & Ross Dr Paul Colton thanking everyone for the immense outpouring of support the family had received since the tragedy last Friday.

 

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