Funeral for murdered Cork woman

The house in which the body of Olivia Dunlea O'Brien was found last Sunday

The house in which the body of Olivia Dunlea O'Brien was found last Sunday


The aunt of a young mother whose life was cut short when she was murdered in her home at the weekend asked those gathered at her funeral mass to think not about how she "left us, but how she lived".

There were heartbreaking scenes of grief Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Ballinlough, Cork city for the funeral mass of Olivia Dunlea-O’Brien (36).

Her body was discovered following the outbreak of a fire at her home in Pembroke Crescent, Passage West, Co Cork in the early hours of Sunday morning.

It was initially thought she had died as a result of a fire but a post-mortem revealed she had died of stab wounds.

Hundreds of mourners gathered inside and outside the church to remember the young mother and to pay their sympathies to her three children Aaron (12), Megan (10) and Darragh (aged nine) her parents Ann and Jimmy and her extended family.

Her aunt Sally told the large crowd gathered that Olivia loved her three children and "enjoyed everything about being young and full of life".

She said her niece loved to throw parties and was very generous.

"Olivia was a sweet and lovely girl who was full of fun and mischief. When we remember her life let's not think about how she left us, but how she lived."

Fr Sean O'Sullivan said that Olivia’s tragic death had left everyone feeling numb and shaken.

"Even in our world that is sadly all too accustomed to tragic violence and headlines, the taking of a life of a young mother with a young family has touched something deep inside so many people," said Fr O’Sullivan.

"So many people I know throughout the country who never knew Olivia have called in recent days to express how sorry they felt for her and for her family."

Fr O’Sullivan said there was much to celebrate in Olivia's life, despite it being cut short.

"Olivia had a huge capacity for life for friendship, for fun and for goodness. It explains why so many people felt at ease with her. She seemed to have had boundless energy."

He said she had a "remarkable generosity of spirit".

"Her willingness to give freely of herself -

her time and energy to others…always willing to give a hand and to play her part."

"That generosity makes her death all the more tragic to think that someone who could be so generous and giving of their time should be robbed of the time that should have been theirs."

Addressing her children he said Olivia was safe and is well and was in the arms of God and nothing could ever hurt her again.

A toy from the playschool she worked at, a pink hair-straighter and a 'Greatest Auntie' cup were among the symbols of Olivia’s life brought to the altar.

After the mass, her coffin was brought to St. Catherine’s Cemetery, Kilcully, where she was laid to rest.