Bodies of Killorglin murder victims returned to small village in Lithuania
Two white coffins laid side by side in the village community hall
The church where the funeral service for the murder victims Jolanta Lubiene and her daughter Enrika will take place today.
The bodies of Jolanta and Enrika Lubiene returned to the small village of Gedrimai in northern Lithuania yesterday, three weeks after the mother and daughter were found dead at their home in Killorglin, Co Kerry.
Two white coffins were laid side by side in a dimmed room in the village community hall, as locals came in small groups to pay their respects. Outside, a book of condolences, filled with pages of signatures from Killorglin, offered a reminder of Ms Lubiene’s deep connection with her adopted home.
Ms Lubiene and her daughter Enrika (8) will be buried today following funeral Mass at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, 10km from the village where Ms Lubiene grew up.
They were found dead at their rented home in Killorglin on June 16th. A Lithuanian man (26) was subsequently charged with their murder.
Among the chief mourners yesterday were Ms Lubiene’s parents – both in their mid-50s – her husband Marius, and her five surviving siblings. All six spent time in Ireland in recent years.
Only Ms Lubiene and her sister Kristina Kuleciciene remained in Ireland, working together for some time in Supervalu in Killorglin. Ms Kuleciciene, who travelled to Lithuania from Kerry last week, said the family was devastated by the loss. “I don’t know how I’m going to wake up in the morning,” she said, recalling how her sister’s husband rang her on June 16th, telling her to go to the Garda station.
She said her parents were extremely upset. “When it’s your kids, your kids . . .” she said. “We’re young. Younger people are always stronger.”
Ms Lubiene and Enrika had been due to return to Lithuania next Monday, with the intention of staying permanently, Ms Kuleciciene said, in part to look after her father, who has cancer. “She was getting things together, and was nearly packed. She had tickets to come back on July 15th with her daughter, and was going to stay here.”
Ms Kuleciciene, who lives in Milltown, Co Kerry, with her husband and two children, said she intended to resume her life in Ireland. She thanked the people of Kerry for their support.
Gedrimai is a small village just outside the city of Telsiai, almost 300km north of the capital Vilnius.