herald

Monday 21 January 2019

'She's with Rachel now' - Callalys' grief at Ann's death

RACHEL O’Reilly ’s sister Ann was today laid to rest beside her.

Grief-stricken father Jim Callaly spoke of his family’s devastation, as they buried their second daughter.

“We miss Ann so much,” he said.

Ann Callaly (32) passed away peacefully at her home in Whitehall, Dublin on Friday after a brave battle against cancer.

Her death, just two weeks before the anniversary of her sister Rachel’s murder, was described by dad Jim as a massive blow to the family.

Ann was laid to rest in the same grave as her sister today.

Rachel was murdered by her husband Joe O’Reilly at her home in The Naul, Co Dublin, in October 2004.

Today, Ann’s Requiem Mass took place at the Church of the Holy Child in Whitehall at 10am.

Her father Jim told the Herald this morning: "She died at 5am on Friday. She will be buried in the same grave as Rachel. It will be a tough day. We're all devastated."

He added: "We miss her so much."

Ann was surrounded by family and friends when she passed away. Her parents, Rose and Jim, said they believed that Ann is "with Rachel now."

Ann's brother Paul had said previously that Ann had bravely battled eye cancer and was determined until the last.

"Ann was 32 and she spent the last two-and-a-half years fighting this thing," he said.

"She never once let it enter her mind that it would beat her, but she's with Rachel now."

The funeral notice in the Herald stated that her loss is "deeply regretted by her loving parents, brothers Declan Paul and Anthony" and extended family and friends.

Ann was a pillar of support for parents Jim and Rose throughout the trial which followed the brutal murder of Rachel. Not long after O'Reilly was convicted, Ann discovered that she had a tumour behind her eye.

Rose said that she was "an example to all of us" and spoke of her gratitude for the medical team who cared for her daughter in recent months.

Her removal took place this morning from her home in Whitehall to the Church of the Holy Child in Whitehall.

Her remains were interred with her sister Rachel at Fingal Cemetery in Balgriffin.

Ann's brothers, Tony and Paul, earlier this year showed their support for Ann's battle against her illness by having their heads shaved to raise money for the Irish Cancer Society.

Ann had underwent aggressive treatment for the cancer but, after a short period of remission, she learned in February this year that the tumour had returned.

She again underwent chemotherapy but it is understood her family was told in recent weeks to prepare for the worst.

In the book 'Remembering Rachel', Rose Callaly wrote how she was amazed by Ann's courage following Rachel's death and her cancer diagnosis.

"I do not know how she has coped so well; she is an example to all of us," she wrote.

"She has needed every ounce of her boundless energy to get through the vigorous schedule of operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments."

hnews@herald.ie

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