THE family of murder victim Nicola Collins was robbed of a chance to say goodbye and tell her that they loved her, mourners were told at her funeral yesterday.
The 38-year-old mum, who had been living in Cork in recent years, was laid to rest in Tralee yesterday after a simple funeral Mass attended by her three children and her grieving parents Kay and Michael. Her body was found in an apartment on Popham’s Road in Farranree in the early hours of March 27. She died from severe neck and head injuries.
Her funeral Mass was celebrated by local parish priest Fr Padraig Walsh at Our Lady and St Brendan’s Church in Tralee yesterday before she was buried in a local cemetery.
Mourners also included her sister, who had travelled home late last week from Barcelona. Friends from Cork travelled to Tralee for the funeral.
Fr Walsh said: “The last week has been a very difficult one for her family since the news broke.” He said her death has resulted in the loss of a daughter, a sister, a mother and a friend, and that people’s hearts go out to her parents, children and former husband Elaije.
He added: “They recall the last times they met her. But they had no chance to say goodbye or ‘I love you’ to her. In the darkness of the past week, they have remembered happier times.” Fr Walsh said Nicola had an innate goodness which was reflected in her recent visit to a sick neighbour in her home town of Tralee, during a trip home to her mother.
He said the lives of her family members have been changed forever by her death.
He continued: “Their hopes for the future are now only a broken dream.” One of the last people she spoke to was her mother when she rang her for Mother’s Day a short number of hours before she died.
A man has been questioned about her murder, before being released without charge. A second man, arrested in Limerick, has been questioned about withholding information. He was also released without charge. Gardai are now preparing a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Gardaí are asking any witnesses to contact Mayfield garda station on 021 4558510, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.