Anguish as body of Chloe Kinsella found in river
Local community thanked for their support
The scene where Chloe Kinsella’s body was found yesterday. Photograph: Eamon Ward
Shortly before midday, the body of Shirley and Kevin Kinsella’s youngest daughter was recovered from the river Shannon just metres from the home she shared with her four brothers and four sisters.
It is a week ago today since the teenager was last seen alive by her family. Now they are preparing for her funeral.
Twenty-four hours before she went missing, Chloe, like many other teenage girls, had queued for concert tickets to see boy band One Direction.
A champion hip-hop dancer who once performed for President Michael D Higgins during a visit to Limerick, Chloe (15) was described by her family as a typical teenage girl who took great pride in her appearance.
She loved her style and never went a day without having her hair and make-up perfect, her sisters recalled.
Afraid of the dark, she never slept without a light on and always observed her mother’s curfew to be home by 10pm at weekends and 9pm on school nights.
The anguish and heartache caused by her untimely death was written across the faces of all those gathered at St Munchin’s Community Centre in Kileely, yesterday.
It was from here that hundreds of volunteers gathered daily over the past week to take part in the search for her.
“You are a brilliant community. Your numbers here today and your numbers over the past five days have proved that,” Supt Daniel Keane told those who had gathered after Chloe’s body was found.
The recently appointed superintendent to Henry Street Garda station also remarked on how the community had “stood steadfast in their support for the Kinsella family”.
“I want to thank you genuinely for the help you have given to An Garda Síochána over the past six days,” he added.
Supt Keane also thanked the numerous agencies including Limerick Marine Search and Rescue, the Irish Coast Guard, Killaloe and Mallow Coast Guard, Irish Search Dog Specialists from Cork and the Abbeyfeale District Search and Rescue, which were involved in the six-day search.
Local Sinn Féin councillor Maurice Quinlivan also paid tribute to the community. “Sometimes this community doesn’t get the best of publicity but from what I saw this last week, we are definitely the best community in the whole country.”
Despite her distress, Chloe’s sister Linsey (23) still managed to make her way to the microphone to thank those who had helped find her younger sister. “I never thought I would be seeing this day,” she wept.
Moyross parish priest Fr Tony O’Riordan invited all those gathered to join hands as prayers were said for Chloe and her the Kinsella family.
It was important that people stuck together and not let their sadness overwhelm them, Fr O’Riordan said.
This is not the first time tragedy has visited the Kinsella family. In 2004 Chloe’s youngest sister Sophie, died aged four from a heart illness.