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The funeral of Fiona Whelan has taken place in Knockananna

The funeral of Fiona Whelan has taken place this morning in Knockananna.

Fiona tragically died following a freak accident at her parents house in Rathnagrew close to the village of Knockananna last Saturday afternoon.

Local residents lined the Hacketstown road into Knockananna to pay their respects as she made her final journey.

Mass was celebrated by Fr.McGovern who said “On the day Fiona died one minute the sun was shining everyone was smiling the gloom of the recent days had seemed lifted a bit, and were enjoying the fine weather. Then without the slightest warning or the chance to prepare in the blink of an eye we are plundered into darkness. The sudden death of a loved one is like that.

The news of Fiona’s death on Saturday evening brought devastating shock to Fiona’s family and circle of friends and the entire local community in Rathnagrew and the Hacketstown parish.

There has been an outpouring of compassion for the Whelan family and Fiona’s partner Michael.No words will ever express the grief, the pain and the sorrow that we all have in their hearts for the family.

Fiona was bright and energetic, she was a natural light, she was always on the go working at something, never leaving anything that could be do today until tomorrow. She had worked in many different places in the catering industry always hard working, always learning the business until the day she took over her own business “The Perch” in Baltinglass.”

Speaking on behalf of the Whelan family Fiona’s sister Siobhan said “We are only going to say a few words today, there are many things we would like to say but we don’t have the words yet.

We can’t express how much the support and love from our family, neighbors and friends have mean’t to us during the past few days, the kind words the thoughts and prayers are hugely appreciated by our family and we are forever thankful. We know you would all be with us if you could, but during these times what you have done has been amazing, we are so touched by the gestures made in Knockananna, Hacketstown, Baltinglass and Rathvilly.

The love of Fiona was so clear to see and community spirit found a way to express this in a beautiful way in spite of Social Restrictions, so we thank you, everybody involved.We need to thank our neighbors who have came to us and helped us with food and everything we have needed in the last few days, we only know Maggie has cooked for us, so if anyone else has she has claimed the glory (said jokingly) so thank you.

We need to thank the emergency services who helped us in our time of need, the paramedics, Hacketstown fire brigade, the doctor, the gardai from Carlow and our own local garda Angela. The kindness, compassion and professionalism was amazing, and as much as we never want to see them lights in our yard we are thankful the people who were there were with us on Saturday.

Thank you Fr.McGovern and Fr.Whitney for the prayers and support.

There is not much more that I can say about Fiona that has already been said in the last few days and I think this shows how genuine a person she was and everyone had the same opinion, she was bubbly, happy and smiling and what you seen was what you got. I think it is safe to say that we knew much Fiona loved us because she couldn’t hide it.

And also she knew how much she was loved because she thrived on it, she couldn’t hear enough reports about how great she was and how great the Perch was, it made her so happy and proud of herself, so she knew it, we may not have said it but she knew it. She was the most amazing person to have as a daughter, sister and an aunt to Jack nothing was ever too much and no was never the answer, she was generous to a fault, she caused more rows than anything in our house because we could never get her to stop. But that is the person she was.

The past few weeks seen us having so much fun together, making plans and doing stupid stuff that we never do. Jack and Fiona loved every second of making silly plans. We are living in a strange time at the moment with Social Distancing and restrictions which probably bothered Fiona more than any of us because she had to talk to everybody. But we got to have Fiona in all her madness and glory, spending more time with us in the last couple of weeks than we would have normally, we are so thankful for that and we have lovely memories that we will hold onto.”

Speaking of Fiona’s partner Michael, Siobhan said “Michael you have been a part of our house for so long, and as a family we could not have picked a better person for Fiona, I’m not going to say you kept her feet on the ground didn’t encourage her half the time with her carry on but that was the way, you were both blissfully happy in you own little world. I know it doesn’t seem like it now but you were so lucky to have so much time together and found each other so young, you have so many memories of the great times you had. We love you forever for how you treated our sister.

I can’t think of any words right now only for how thankful we are, Fiona we love you, we miss you, we thank you for everything, your stories and light will continue forever.

And we hope they all like coffee up there because they are getting it whether they like it or not.

Tributes poured in from all over the West Wicklow and East Carlow region during the last number of days, such was the love of a girl that was known to so many through her career in the catering business.”

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