‘She was probably unaware of what she meant to the people of the town. She was loved. She is remembered’

The late Miriam Burns: She was probably unaware of what she meant to the people of the town.
Image source: Facebook

There were remarkably poignant and emotional scenes in Killarney this Sunday evening as a community turned out in real force to say a fond final farewell to Miriam Burns, the 75-year-old grandmother and mum of four who was found dead at her home last Monday.

People queued patiently and silently for close on three hours to express sympathy to her family, be it through a warm embrace, a gentle hug, a firm handshake or a knowing nod as the crowd filed through the aisles of St Mary’s Cathedral where the simple but beautiful ceremony took place.

Killarney Parish Administrator, Fr Kieran O’Brien, who led the celebration of life, said the turnout was a great show of strength and solidarity with the Burns family and it was encouraging to see people queuing for so long to offer words of comfort and prayers.

He said the silence that has been experienced in Killarney since Miriam’s body was discovered last Monday at lunchtime was a statement in itself and it shows the high regard in which she was held.

“Miriam touched so many lives. On this fine summer’s day, think of the sunshine she has brought into our lives,” Fr O’Brien said.

Miriam Burns has been described as a beautiful, stylish lady.
Image source: Facebook

He added that she always maintained an upbeat attitude and a great and positive approach no matter what was going on in her life.

“Miriam’s light shone so brightly on this town and she always had a smile or a wave as she went about her business,” the parish administrator stated.

Fr O’Brien said Miriam was a very caring person who visited the housebound and they were blessed to have her calling.

Fr Kieran O’Brien: Very moving tribute

“She brightened up so many people’s lives by her own presence, in her actions and by her words. it is fitting that today’s service is a celebration of light”.

“We have been powerless in the dark since that light went out and the only flicker of light at the moment is the memories held by her family, her friends and her neighbours,” the congregation in the cathedral heard.

Fr O’Brien said happy memories won’t take away the sting of death but they will help.

“She was probably unaware of what she meant to the people of the town. She was loved. She is remembered,” he added.

Miriam’s daughter, Sharon remembered her mum as a beautiful, stunning, powerful force of nature who was very clever and brimful of compassion and love.

She lived her life with dignity and compassion and Sharon thanked Ardshanavooley, Killarney and Ireland for reaching out since the dreadful tragedy occurred.

“We were very lucky to have her as a mother. She was a lioness,” she added.

Miriam, who has four adult children and grandchildren, was cremated after the service.

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