MUCH LOVED The late Valerie French Kilroy.
THERE were emotional scenes at St Fachtna’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Rosscarbery, West Cork, last Thursday afternoon as the funeral took place of Valerie French Kilroy, the 41-year-old mother of three found dead at her home in Westport on the previous Friday, June 14.
Ms French Kilroy’s husband, James Kilroy, of Kilbree Lower, Westport, has been charged with her murder. He appeared in Harristown Court at Castlerea Prison last Friday afternoon, where he has been remanded in custody to appear again on Friday, July 5.
Valerie is survived by her three sons Oscar, Axel and Zak; her husband, James; her mother, Valerie; her brother, David; her sisters, Suzette, Hilary and Veronica; her parents-in-law, Richard and Jay; her sisters-in-law, Emma and Natalie; and her extended family.
Caring and loving
At the Cork funeral service, the congregration was addressed by Valerie’s only brother, David, who opened his remarks by saying that first and foremost, Valerie’s three 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,” said an emotional David, who continued: “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. As you all know Valerie was an immensely caring and loving person. It was her calling both at home and at work throughout her life.
“Valerie had a wonderful laugh and just like our father, whom she adored, she had a great sense of fun and enjoyment, an immense capacity for work and a deep connection with people across the community wherever she was.”
David also asked those gathered to ‘please pray for the person responsible for her death’.
He urged the congregation: “Above all else, please pray for the future of Valerie’s three sons. Please pray that they will grow up to be the men their mother wanted to see, with lives as full of laughter, love, joy, happiness and hope as hers was.
“Finally, I would like to thank the people and services of the Irish State, An Garda Síochána, the HSE, Tusla, the funeral directors and the many other dedicated professionals who deal with these situations more often than the rest of us. As a close family friend often says: ‘We are only put here to help each other’. Valerie was put here to help us.”
Hundreds attended the funeral service, which was held not far from where Valerie was brought up in Leap.
A number of her HSE colleagues travelled from Co Mayo to west Cork for the service, which 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.
Dean Peters said that 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.
Reverend Val Rogers of Westport has stated that a service planned for Holy Trinity Church in Westport on Saturday, June 29, has been deferred to a later date to allow Bishop Patrick Rooke, the Bishop of this diocese, to attend. “We are having the service to remember Valerie and to pray for the French and Kilroy families,” said Reverend Rogers.