Tears as Tipperary jersey draped over coffin of mum killed in crash
The coffin of Nicola Kenny - who was killed in a horrific road crash as she made her way to visit her newborn baby in hospital - was draped with a signed Tipperary hurling jersey as hundreds of mourners turned up for her removal last night.
Nicola - a grandchild of Tipp hurling legend Paddy Kenny, who won three All-Irelands in a row (1949-1951) - had been sitting in her aunt's car, which had pulled into the hard shoulder of the M8 near Cashel, when a truck collided with the vehicle from behind.
Nicola (26), along with her mother Ann, and aunt Irene Whelan, had been on their way to Temple Street Children's Hospital to visit Nicola's newborn baby, who was rushed to Dublin the previous day after her birth.
Moments before the fatal crash Nicola had been informed that her baby, Lilly-Rose, was being transferred back to South Tipperary after her condition had improved.
There were incredibly poignant scenes at Hugh Ryan's funeral home in Thurles as Tipperary corner-back Mickey Cahill presented the Kenny family with a jersey signed by the Tipp team, which was then draped over Ms Kenny's coffin.
Hundreds of people attended the removal to the Cathedral of the Assumption led by Nicola's father Patrick, and her only sibling, brother Patrick jnr.
According to local sources, Nicola's devastated mother, Ann, was too traumatised from Monday's collision to attend. Nicola's aunt was also prevented from attending, as she was still in hospital with injuries she sustained in the tragedy.
As the hearse carrying Nicola's remains made its way to the church, it stopped for a few moments outside the local Tesco store, where her workmates performed a guard of honour.
"Over the last couple of days we've all been caught up in the darkness of what has happened and the loss of Nicola has affected everybody here in different ways - be it pain, shock, numbness or confusion, and anger and disbelief at what has happened," Rev Vincent Stapleton, CC, Thurles, told mourners.
Ms Kenny will be laid to rest later today following 11am requiem mass in the Cathedral of the Assumption with burial afterwards in St Patrick's Cemetery.