PINK balloons adorned St Joseph’s Church this Wednesday as Limerick said goodbye to an “outstanding citizen”, who bravely battled cancer for four years.
The funeral mass of Julie-Anne Dineen, 41, heard that she only last week was offering support to a woman who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, on the phone from her sickbed.
Julie-Anne and her husband Dave have raised some €100,000 for cancer services in Limerick, raised awareness around the disease, and founded a support group for sufferers, called Bosom Buddies.
The group said their regular Thursday morning meetings “will never be the same again without her”, but they “will carry on in her shadow with dignity and love.”
Fr Tom Mangan, who celebrated the funeral mass at St Joseph’s Church, said he had known Julie-Anne for 20 years, as she sang at masses, novenas and weddings.
She had a “heart of gold”, he said, noting: “How strong she was until the very end. She never wanted to give up. We’ve a lot to learn [from Julie-Anne].”
“It’s not right to say farewell to your daughter, sister, wife or mother when she was so young. She fought a tremendous battle with such positivity,” he told the large congregation.
*A full version of this story was published in the Limerick Leader, print edition, dated November 26, 2011