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Hundreds gather to pay respects to tragic Catherine

HUNDREDS of mourners have paid their final respects to murdered vet Catherine Gowing

HER family held a funeral service in her home village of Kinnitty last night.

United in grief, Catherine's devastated family and friends watched on as her coffin was brought through the main street of the Offaly hamlet.

The tragic vet will today make her final journey -- three months after she was brutally murdered in northern Wales.

Kinnitty parish priest Fr Michael O'Meara spoke of the intense love that the community had for Catherine.


"I welcome Catherine home to this community she was such a part of. She was loved by everybody and surrounded by that love," he said.

He paid an emotional tribute to the 37-year-old, who he described as a beautiful, talented, loving young woman.

Catherine's heartbroken parents, Maureen and John, and sister Emma, were joined by colleagues and friends who had travelled over from Flintshire in Wales.

Locals stood on both sides of Kinnitty main street while a hearse made its way to the church.

Inside, Fr O'Meara paid tribute to those in the community who have supported the Gowing family during their nightmare three months.

And he extended a special thanks to the Welsh police who are still searching for some of the remains that have not yet been found.

Ms Gowing went missing on October 12 near her home in Flintshire, northern Wales.

Her remains were later found dismembered in two separate locations by police probing her disappearance.

Welsh man Clive Sharp (46) has been charged with her murder.

Her funeral Mass was due to take place today in what was expected to be an emotional service.

She will be laid to rest following requiem Mass at St Flannan's Church in Kinnitty.

Fine Gael TD Marcella Corcoran Kennedy said that Catherine's murder had stunned the community. She described the Gowing family as "very hard working and very, very well respected".

And local councillor Percy Clendennen said that he hoped the family is comforted by the return of Catherine's remains.

"Hopefully it will be a relief to the family that the body is now home," he said.

The search for the remainder of Catherine's remains is ongoing.

A spokesperson for the Welsh Police said that the search would continue "dependent on information we receive".