THERE were emotional scenes last night as hundreds of people gathered for the removal of tragic Chloe Kinsella, whose body was recovered from the river Shannon on Friday.
The 15-year-old schoolgirl had been missing from her home at Kenyon Avenue, Kileely for six days before her body was discovered at Brown’s Quay by divers from Limerick Marine Search and Rescue.
Mourners queued outside Cross’s Funeral home from just after 4pm yesterday to offer their sympathies to members of Chloe’s family.
Classmates from St Nessans College, Moylish as well as volunteers who took part in the searches were visibly upset as they emerged from the funeral home.
Scores of teenage girls all wore pink to show their solidarity with their friend.
In addition to the large number of floral tributes there were numerous other offerings including a make-up kit, a floral wreath incorporating a smartphone, and a life-sized cut-out poster of members of One Direction.
Among the largest floral tributes, which was placed alongside the white casket, was a collage of photographs of Chloe and her friends with a message, which read “Best Friends Forever”.
The cortege took almost an hour to make its way to St Munchin’s Church, Clancy Strand - arriving as darkness was settling in just after 7pm.
There was an eery silence as the casket was carried into the church, which overlooks the river, which claimed Chloe’s life.
The youngest daughter in a family of nine children this is not the first time that tragedy has visited the Kinsella family.
In 2004 Chloe’s younger sister Sophie died from a heart illness, aged just four.
It is expected that Chloe’s uncle, Matthew Franklin, will speak on behalf of the Kinsella family at today’s funeral mass.
It is understood that counselling services will be made available to Chloe’s classmates following the funeral and it expected that the chief celebrant, Fr Pat Seaver will direct his sermon towards young mourners and in particular Chloe’s class mates.
Following the 11am funeral mass, Chloe will be laid to rest at Mount St Oliver cemetery.