Mother-of-six killed in ‘brutal, senseless’ fashion, funeral told

Antoinette Corbally, who died in Ballymun shooting, recalled as family ‘hero’

 

Antoinette Corbally died in a “brutal, senseless and violent way”, her funeral Mass in Ballymun, Dublin was told on Thursday.

Parish priest Fr Declan Blake told the small congregation at St Joseph’s Church that life was precious, and the taking of life was wrong.

“Violence doesn’t get us anywhere, it just leaves more unhappiness, misery and pain,” he said.

The mother-of-six was shot dead two weeks ago outside her home at Balbutcher Drive in Ballymun along with Clinton Shannon, a 30-year-old locksmith. The killings were believed to be connected to an attempt on the life of Ms Corbally’s brother, Derek Devoy.

As Dire Straits’ Romeo and Juliet played at the start of the funeral, Mr Devoy carried his sister’s coffin to the altar with other members of her family and sat with them in the front row of the church.

Fr Blake told the congregation, including Ms Corbally’s mother Nancy, her children Andrea, Johnny and Grace and her grandchildren, that the day of her death was a dark day for her family.

“She had gone home after visiting Nancy her mother in hospital and her daughter Andrea had received her leaving cert results that day,” he said.

Proud

Ms Corbally was proud, Fr Blake said, like so many mothers that day.

“Antoinette had told Andrea that they’d celebrate her Leaving Cert results at the weekend; moments later Antoinette was dead,” he said.

The priest highlighted the Mass reading, from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians, which spoke of the qualities of love. “If we all loved, we all know the world would be a very, very happy place,” he said.

He told the family the love they had for Ms Corbally and her love for them would “never come to an end because love endures forever”.

“Wednesday was a dark day for Antoinette’s family and the only thing that can bring light into that awful darkness is our faith,” he said. “We thanks God for Antoinette’s life and we pray and trust that she is close to us and always will be because we believe and trust she is with God.”

Andrea gave the first reading and spoke briefly at the end of the ceremony.

“My mother was a wonderful woman she was the best in the world” she said. “We’ll love her forever and she will always be with us no matter what, she’s our family’s hero.”

The low-key funeral concluded when the coffin was carried from the church to the sound of A Mother’s Love.

Outside, gardaí in cars and a van watched as the funeral cortege left the church to make its way to Dardistown Cemetery.