'It's senseless, life shouldn't be like this', priest tells Nadine mass
The little daughter of Nadine Lott clutched a cuddly toy rabbit as she followed the ivory coffin carrying her mum's remains in Arklow yesterday.
More than 1,000 mourners filled St Mary and Peter's Church and lined the streets outside as Kya (6) paid her tribute to her mother, walking alongside her for one last time.
Nadine (30) was remembered too by her mother, Claire, as a woman who "cherished life, creating and recording memories".
Not a sound could be heard within the church or outside, as families who would normally be finishing the last of their Christmas shopping paid their respects to the young woman who fought so bravely for life but died three days after she was assaulted in her own home.
A heartbroken Claire showed tremendous courage as she went to the altar to ensure that every single mourner, and indeed all of Ireland, remembered her beloved Nadine for all she was.
"Not all of you had the pleasure to know her" she said. "My daughter cherished life and creating and recording memories."
She told mourners Nadine was very close to her sisters, Tanith and Phoebe, and her brother, Kyle, and said she was a devoted mother to Kya, who only days before the tragedy had danced in her grandparents' home to pop song Dance Monkey.
Parish priest Fr Michael Murtagh told how he had watched "amazed" as the little girl "explored the world in which she lives".
No one could imagine the "depths of tragedy" that would descend on the family, the town of Arklow and Ireland, following the devastating loss of the mother who had devoted her life to caring for her child and making memories with family and friends.
Claire told how only last week, a loved one had a photo album made for Nadine with the words "Loving, lifetime friends" printed on it to celebrate her 30th birthday in October.
"She loved you all," Claire said, breaking down.
Fr Murtagh said: "How can we find the words to express the devastation in the hearts of Nadine's mother Claire, her dad David, her sisters and brother and above all her daughter, Kya?
"I don't think there's anything I can say that can take away the loss you're suffering, nothing will replace the pain and suffering in our hearts today.
"What we do know is that it is not supposed to be like this. A mother, a father, are not supposed to be burying their daughter.
"It is not supposed to be like this. Two sisters and a brother should not be confronted with the death of one of their own at such a young age.
"It's senseless. A six-year-old child, Kya, should not be burying her young mother.
"It is not supposed to be like this, with an entire community in shock for Nadine, who was beautiful, intelligent, caring and full of fun.
"Nadine, who was doing what she loved most, caring for Kya. Her life was taken away just as she was trying to get it going. It's not supposed to be like this.
"Last Thursday night, I sat in amazement and laughter as young Kya danced to a pop song, Dance Monkey. Is that right Kya? She did it in her grandparents' home.
Fr Murtagh also spoke of Kya's love for her mum's dog.
"Of course, she delights in Nadine's dog, Bella, when she barks like mad," he said.
Fr Murtagh reminded mourners there "would be the harsh reality of going on without Nadine".
"It's not supposed to be this way. The entire town of Arklow and beyond is gripped by the darkness of Nadines's death," he said.
"The banner outside the church says it all: 'Nadine, forever in our thoughts.'
"The music at the bandstand last Monday night says it all. Among all of this God is here with us."
Daniel Murtagh (32), of Melrose Avenue, Clondalkin, has been charged with assault causing serious harm in connection with Nadine's death.