'You’ve gained your wings': Sister's powerful tribute after death of young Limerick woman

Fintan Walsh


Fintan Walsh



'You’ve gained your wings': Sister's powerful tribute after death of young Limerick woman

The late Yasmin Williams | Picture courtesy of Yasmin's family

THE HEARTBROKEN sister of a young woman who tragically died in an apparent suicide delivered a powerful, emotional tribute at her funeral Mass this week.

Yasmin-Lee Williams, 24, who lived in Garryowen, passed away following an incident, which involved a river rescue operation in Limerick city, last Friday.

Hundreds gathered to pay tribute to the St Patrick's Road native, who was laid to rest this following her funeral Mass at St John’s Cathedral this Wednesday morning.

During the Mass, members of her family read poems dedicated to Yasmin. Her nephew Kingston recited a poem, written by Sinead Benn: “Does she know how much we cherished her? Does she know our hearts are broken? Does she know when we said we loved her, no truer words were spoken?”

Family members also presented gifts that represented life symbols, including headphones and her favourite sweets. 

Her sister Natasha read a prayer of the faithful during the Mass. 

Delivering a heartfelt, moving eulogy, her sister Bianca started her emotional tribute by describing her as “my sister, my best friend”.

“You were the most loving, caring, beautiful child, inside and out. You were the only person in the whole world that couldn’t see it,” she said. 

Recalling fond memories growing up as siblings, she said that “everywhere she went, she made friends”, and that she gave a lot of her time to charity and good causes, and in particular, helping the vulnerable in Limerick city.

“[You were] always trying to help or give to others, be it a sleep out for Novas, a sky dive for Pieta House, or helping give dinners to the homeless on Christmas Day, you had a heart made of gold. Regardless of what you were going through, you always put everyone else first.”

Bianca noted that one person during the week described Yasmin as “so true and a warrior”.

She said that Yasmin was “blessed” with her close circle of friends, and thanked family members and friends who guided her throughout the years. She also mentioned her close relationship with her younger sister Paige. 

She added: “There isn’t enough words to say how grateful and thankful we are to the Limerick Marine Search and Rescue, bringing Yasmin home to us. It goes without saying that every one of ye are heroes and probably have one of the hardest, toughest jobs in the world. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”

Concluding her tribute, Bianca said: “You’ve gained your wings now, love, so fly away, and mind us. Help us through this tough, horrible time. Look over Mammy because you're her angel now."

“The last thing you sent me Friday night was ‘good night’. So sleep tight, I will miss you forever and a day,” she said, which was met with huge applause from everyone in the cathedral.”

Fr Frank O’Connor, said the Mass alongside Fr Noel Kirwan, thanked Bianca, family members who read poems and the music delivered during the Mass. 

As the Mass came to a close, Luther Vandross’ Dance with my Father was powerfully sung by local woman Virginia Kelly, as the funeral cortege left the cathedral. 

Late of Churchfield, St Patrick's Road, in Limerick city, Yasmin-Lee Williams is survived by heartbroken parents Sandra and Kevin, brother Dean, sisters Bianca and Paige, aunts and uncle, nephews, all other relatives and large circle of friends.

Separately, there have been calls for greater discussion on positive mental health and the provision of vital services. 

If you have been affected by this story, you can contact the following services:

Samaritans — 116 123 (free) / 087 2609090 (text)
Pieta House — 061 484 444 / 1800 247 247 (free)
Childline — 1800 666 666 (free) / Talk 50101 (free text)
Aware Helpline — 1800 804 848 (free)
Teenline — 1800 833 634 (free)
Grow — 1890 474 474
Living Links — 087 799 8427
Shannondoc — (or any GP) 1850 212 999
Emergency services — 112 or 999