THE priest at the Funeral Mass of Kileely teenager Chloe Kinsella has warned of the dangers of “glamourising” her tragic death.
Hundreds of people were at St Munchin’s Church in Clancy Strand to pay their last respects to 15-year-old Chloe, whose body was recovered from the River Shannon on Friday.
The whole of Limerick has been saddened by the death of the popular teen, with her classmates from St Nessan’s joining members of the community from the northside, including the hundreds who had given up their own time to search for her.
In the homily - written in co-operation with her school and parents - St Munchin’s curate Fr Pat Seaver urged teenagers to live life to the full, for fear Chloe’s death could spark a “copy-cat situation”.
“We do not want any more tragedies. Life is for living - especially for young people - especially for 15-year-olds. So we appeal to you young people - try and begin to appreciate God’s wonderful gift of life, and live it to the full,” Fr Seaver told mourners.
He also warned youngsters of the dangers of abusing alcohol, saying: “Research shows that it damages young people physically and mentally. And all the experts in developmental psychology tells us that teenagers do not need alcohol to live life to the full. Their brains are by nature full of natural stimulation. Alcohol deadens their natural vivaciousness and they end up hardly able to talk or walk or think clearly.”
He noted that many people who attended a vigil for Chloe on Thursday at the Kileely shrine were “under the influence of drink”.
“Chloe’s parents have lost a beautiful daughter - a daughter who loved music and dancing - who was in fact a champion hip-hop dancer. Who danced for the President on one memorable occasion. A daughter who was kind and loving and soft-hearted, who would do anything for a person in need or in trouble.”
He added: “We hope this will be the last time we will ever have to come to this Church for such a celebration.”
Tributes at the Mass came from Chloe’s elder sister Marguerite, and John Costelloe, who led the search efforts for the teen after she was reported missing last week.
A large picture of the 15-year-old stood atop a cream-coloured coffin containing Chloe’s remains.
Other floral tributes included a photo montage of Chloe and some of her best friends, as well as a large model telephone, showing a picture of the teenager in happy times.
Hymns at the requiem included ‘Voice of an Angel’, the Liam Lawton track ‘‘In the Quiet’.
And the final hymn was ‘You raise me up’, originally sung by Brian Kennedy.
Prayers were also said for Chloe’s siblings, Sonya, Kevin, Jonathan, Lindsey, Marguerite, Darren and Brian.
She was laid to rest in Mount St Oliver cemetery, beside her sister Sophie, who died aged just three years in 2004 from a heart condition.
Chloe is also survived by her mother Shirley, father Kevin, brothers, sisters and extended family.