There was an extraordinary show of solidarity from the community as hundreds of mourners attended Miriam Burns’ funeral today.
Burns’ body was found last Monday at his home in Aadshanaburi, and Garda’s investigation into the death of 75-year-old Burns has since been upgraded to a homicide investigation.
Father Kieran O’Brien held a service at St Mary’s Cathedral in Killarney.
It was supposed to start at 4pm, but was delayed due to the number of mourners who wanted to attend.
The mourners offered their condolences to the Burns family at the top of the aisle.
They did so after 2pm, but the queue eventually faded a few minutes before service started at 4:55pm.
Father O’Brien said goodbye to Ms. Burns and commented on the remarkable sense of unity visible among all those who came to sympathize with those who loved her most.
“It’s wonderful to see so many people with us in the cathedral this afternoon,” he said.
“It was a source of strength and comfort [to Miriam’s family] The last three hours saw people from all over Kerry come to church: friends, neighbors, colleagues and parishioners.
Father O’Brien added, “The silence that has hung over the town this past week was a statement in itself.”
Hundreds of people attended the service, and Father O’Brien commented that the crowd included many who crossed Killarney’s town and county lines.
A photo of Ms. Burns smiling has been widely circulated in the media since news of her death broke, and Father O’Brien said the image “spoke a thousand words.” Whatever challenges her life presents her.
“Miriam’s light lit up this town,” he said.
“Woman on a bicycle. Her daily journey to the city. Arshan [Ardshanavooly] It took me so long to get home even though it’s only 5 minutes from town. Miriam was never in a hurry. I want to chat, I want to meet people.
“they [her family] I hope this will be a celebration of her life…she had a great positive attitude no matter what was going on in her life.
He described Miriam as a family that has always shown “unconditional love” to their four children.
“She probably didn’t know what she had accomplished or what she meant to the people of this town.
“I have no doubt her memory will live on. She is loved.”
Before her coffin was carried and Miriam was brought in for a private cremation ceremony, daughter Sharon told her mother’s congregation that she was “a woman of substance, full of mercy and love.”
Commenting on the strength of her character, she described her as a “powerful” woman and thanked everyone for supporting the Burns family during the most difficult week of their lives.
“Killarney, Ardshan, thank you to everyone in Ireland for honoring her,” she said.
While Mary Caroty O’Sullivan sang “Think of Me”, Miriam’s wicker coffin was carried down the aisle to a waiting hearse.
Sharon neared the end of her eulogy, saying, “The path your mother took, or actually rode, was a role model for all of us.