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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 0°C

Eimear Walsh funeral hears of kind-hearted, generous and fun-loving young woman

Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the life of the 21-year-old woman in Foxrock today.

Eimear Walsh funeral was held today at O Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland Mourners outside Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock this morning. Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE gathered at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock, Dublin, this morning, to mourn the loss of Eimear Walsh and to celebrate the life of the young woman who was described as kind-hearted, fun loving and confident.

The 21-year-old was one of six Irish people killed in a balcony collapse in Berkeley, California. Today, Father Paul Ward, said he had known her for most of her life – she formed a family mass group with friends and was also a member of the church choir.

He said she was a beautiful singer and spoke about her love of dancing.

Friends brought gifts to the alter of music, dancing shoes, a medical coat and what the priest described as “girl’s things”, like fake tan, to represent the different part of the student’s life.

The young woman came from a family that is considerate and caring, their home one of genuine hospitality, Father Ward said.

Eimear’s father Jim spoke at the funeral mass in Foxrock, of a beautiful person who was, among other things, “kind-hearted, generous, fun-loving, independent minded, very bright, confident but never pretentious”.

Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

“Eimear was deceptively easy-going, but was determined when she made up her mind to do something,” he told those gathered at the church.

She decided she’d pass the driving test in as quick a time as humanly possible. I went with her to the driving test on the morning, I was feeling apprehensive on her behalf because she had such little driving experience. After waiting around in the centre, Eimear came out with a sheet of paper, gave me a smile and a thumbs up and going home in the car, she said to me: “The tester was in two minds whether to pass me or not but he gave me the benefit of the doubt” – I think he was a wise man.

She decided in sixth year she wanted to go into medicine and in “typical Eimear fashion”, she knuckled down and got the grades she needed to go to UCD.

Jim Walsh said the last week had been “very traumatic” for his family, and returning to Dublin to “good friends and family was a relief”. The loss of their daughter has created a huge void in their lives, he said, adding that Eimear would want them now to pick themselves up and keep going.

On behalf of his family, he thanked people for the “truly inspirational” prayers and expressions of sympathy from all across the country. He asked people to pray for the other students who lost their lives, including Lorcan Miller and Olivia Burke, who were good friends of his daughter’s and for those who are still hospitalised in California.

The funeral of Eoghan Culligan also took place in Rathfarnham this morning. Masses for Niccolai Schuster and Olivia Buke will be held tomorrow and Lorcán Miller’s is on Thursday.

Read: Six Irish students remain in Californian hospitals, two still in serious condition>

Read: The remains of all the Berkeley victims have now returned to Ireland>

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