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Sunday 26 January 2020

Tragic Annmarie is with her baby girl in heaven, daughter tells funeral

The coffin of Annmarie Hooper is carried from the church
The coffin of Annmarie Hooper is carried from the church

The funeral of a young mother who died in a car crash heard how she has joined her baby girl in heaven.

Annmarie Hooper (33), from Tallaght, died last week in a collision after driver Dean Coleman crashed while trying to evade gardai.

A female relative read a heartbreaking letter from Annmarie's young daughter, Katelyn, in tribute to her mother.

"Like any mother and daughter, at the end of the day, it was a love like no other. She was a loving, caring person," it said.

"I know she's up there now with my baby sister Sofiah, my da... and my cousin, Kyle.

"I hope you are all united together. I hope you are at peace now, until we meet again, your little princess, Katelyn."

Tragically Annmarie had suffered a series of losses in recent years, including the death of her baby daughter, Sofiah, the death of her partner three years ago and the passing of her 12-year-old nephew, Kyle Finnegan Hooper, last September, after the talented footballer had an asthma attack.

Cherished

The female relative told mourners: "I promise we will mind Katelyn for you, we love her like our own, we love you."

The words were greeted with applause at The Church of the Incarnation in Fettercairn, Tallaght.

Annmarie's white coffin was adorned with pink and white flowers, and pink and white balloons filled the altar.

The coffin of Annmarie Hooper is carried from the church
The coffin of Annmarie Hooper is carried from the church

Cherished mementos from her life, including her make-up bag and cosmetic nails, were brought as gifts to the altar.

A family friend read a letter from Cathy, Annmarie's mother, stating: "Even though she was a thorn in my side, I loved her, as she had a heart of gold and she would do anything for anyone."

The friend added: "She was her own worst enemy at times but even though they had arguments, she [Cathy] loved her. And Annmarie loved her [Cathy] to bits, she was her only daughter and she adored her.

"Her daughter and Katelyn were like sisters and best friends, and she loved her three brothers and her stepbrother so much.

"We were sitting in Cathy's all week, listening to stories of Annmarie."

One of the shared memories momentarily made mourners laugh just a little, as they remembered the spirit of the young woman.

The family friend told how she had been attending different friends' and relatives' homes one Christmas, and how she'd sneaked in through one of their windows.

The friend also told how on the night of The Late Late Toy Show, Annmarie had gone to buy pyjamas for herself, her mother and daughter, along with treats and face masks, to ensure they had the perfect family night.

The family friend said: "Even though she had a mad side to her, she had a loving side to her as well."

Parish priest Fr Pat McKinley told mourners: "The birth of Annmarie's first baby Sofiah was one of joy, that quickly turned to heartache and suffering.

"That event, baby Sofiah's death, marked a real turning point in Annmarie's very young life, as she struggled to come to terms with the loss.

"I know Katelyn, you brought great joy into your mam's life after baby Sofiah's death.

"Annmarie was the only girl among all her brothers, I know she loved each of you lads and you loved her, she loved her nephew and niece and she loved to spend time with her family, especially family outings to the mobile in Wexford.

"Her own family are honest enough to me say that despite Annmarie having a good heart, she could sometimes be her own worst enemy.

"For all that, she was a young woman, full of life and full of love.

"Her interests included fashion and make-up, she loved to look her best. Baby Spice was the name that was thrown around a good bit.

"I know Annmarie's tragic and unexpected death has brought new heartache into all of your lives."

Rise Up by Andra Day, the American soul singer, echoed across the church as mourners wept.

Veered

Her white coffin was carried in a horse-drawn carriage to her burial at Newlands Cross.

Annmarie died when disqualified driver Dean Coleman crashed trying to get away from gardai.

Mr Coleman (25), from Drimnagh, also died in the crash in Rathfarnham at around 1.30am last Tuesday.

The car veered off the road, hitting a lamppost.

Gardai had earlier signalled for him to pull over.

The Garda Ombudsman Commission is investigating the crash.

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