'Jess will always be our funny, quirky 19-year-old', says heartbroken dad
A recording of tragic student Jessica Moore singing The Foggy Dew played out yesterday as her coffin was carried to its final resting place.
Jessica (19), a sixth year student at St Raphael's College, Loughrea, died on Monday after falling ill at the school Debs dance.
She was taken by ambulance to Portiuncula Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
Her classmates were among the hundreds of mourners who yesterday gathered at St Patrick's Church, Bullaun, Co Galway.
Her father, Brendan Moore, said Jessica's death came in a week that should have been filled with celebration for the pupils, including the Leaving Cert results and CAO offers.
Jessica, a member of Loughrea Youth Theatre, was remembered for her musical talents throughout the emotional ceremony and her guitar was brought to the altar as a gift.
Her father recalled how he used to joke that Jessica's talents - which "were going to shine all around the world" - would one day be her parents' pension.
Delivering a moving eulogy, he told her friends to mind each other as they go out into the world, and to always remember their dear friend, Jessica.
"She lived her short life to the full, always in the middle of it - but never wanting to be the centre of attention," said her father.
"Even as a two-year-old, when we were building our house here in Bullaun, we came out to see how things were going. Within minutes, Jess had scooped up a pile of rubble and thrown it up in the air all over herself.
"I still remember those blonde curls and cheeky smile, they are indelibly printed into our hearts. Everyone who knew Jess, or just knew of her, knew about her talent. Our girl loved to sing and perform.
"Even in Jess's toughest days, she would love drama - her performances in Les Miserables, Cat In The Hat and Hairspray showed just how brilliantly talented she was.
"Music and singing were Jess's comfort zone, her place of refuge. When Jess was annoyed, the piano suffered, and by God, did she belt out some collection when she wanted to.
"We are so happy we have recordings of her that we can treasure and we can always turn to her for a song."
He lamented the fact he would miss monumental milestones in her life, and how her Leaving Cert results of 531 points had shown she had the potential to fulfil her dreams.
"We won't get to celebrate her 21st birthday, her graduation, I won't get to walk her down the aisle," Mr Moore added.
"Everything was coming together for her. She will always be our vibrant, funny, quirky 19-year-old that we loved so dearly and that we will miss terribly."
He said Jessica had been "relaxed and happy" before leaving the house for her Debs, even holding a sing-song with her sister, Ali (17).