THE village of Kinnitty at the foot of the Slieve Bloom mountains in County Offaly came to a standstill on Thursday as hundreds of mourners filled St Flannan’s Church to pay their final respects to Offaly woman Catherine Gowing.
Among the mourners were a number of her friends and work colleagues from North Wales as well as representatives of North Wales Police including Det Chief Inspector Mark Pierce.
Catherine Gowing had been living and working as a vet in North Wales for 18 months prior to her murder in October last year.
Her sister Emma told the congregation that Catherine ‘was the closest person to perfection that I had the privilege to know and love as my sister, my friend’.
“She was a wonderful daughter to mom and dad. She was their gift from God. She loved animals and being able to practice as a vet was for her a dream come through.”
She thanked everyone for their support during the family’s traumatic ordeal saying ‘our hearts are broken. We miss her, we love her, but Catherine is in a good place. She never said goodbye, there is no goodbye. There is only love.’
Mass was concelebrated Kinnitty Parish Priest, Fr Michael O’Meara, Bishop of Killaloe Kieran O’Reilly, former Bishop of Killaloe Willie Walsh and eight priests from neighbouring parishes.
Catheirne was last seen on Friday, October 12, 2012 when she was sighted on CCTV leaving the ASDA supermarket in Queensferry.
Her colleagues raised the alarm the following Monday morning when she failed to appear for work. Her car was later found burnt out near a quarry close to her home.
After an intense search, human remains that were later identified as the missing Offaly woman’s were discovered in a shallow pond and on the banks of the river Dee
46-year-old Clive Sharp remains in custody after being arrested and charged with Catherine’s murder. He is due to appear in court again next week.