The funeral of Liz Duff, held on Saturday afternoon, August 25 in Kilcullen’s Church of the Sacred Heart and St. Brigid was well attended by the local community, who gathered in number to support a suffering family in their midst.
It was a simple affair, designed to allow her family, friends and community to celebrate their memories of her – and to put to one side, at least for a brief moment, the distressing reality of a sudden, death almost a week earlier, which has aroused the suspicions of the Gardai.
That reality was put to one side in favour of a celebration of the joy of Liz’s life, “as she would have preferred it” one speaker said.
Faced with that awful reality, Liz Dempsey was remembered as a fun loving young woman who stole her sisters clothes in order to go out, and who loved to sing.
The funeral Mass, con-celebrated by Frs. Michael Murphy, Declan Thompson and Jimmy Doyle, opened to the evocative strains of Abide with Me.
Fr. Murphy expressed his sympathy for Liz’s mother Anne, her children Keith, Hayley, Holly and Nicole and her grandson, as well as her siblings Yvonne, Edward and Joe.
Mementos, to remind the congregation of the deceased woman in happier times were brought to the altar by her family.
She was, by all accounts, a bit of a reader, who loved crosswords, newspapers and books, especially a good thriller.
Fr. Murphy chose a gospel reading for the day which recounted how Jesus told his apostles he would be leaving, but that he would return, to illustrate that Liz’s death was not the end.
“I choose it because it has much that is important to say to us on this very sad occasion,” he explained. “This is not the end of the story.
“Jesus came to bring us with him to where he is now, forever, in heaven. He makes this possible.”
“Liz was such a lively young person and a hard worker,” he recalled.
“She worked for a time in Higgins shop in Kilcullen. She used to get home before her sister Yvonne and rob her clothes before Yvonne got home,” he recounted to some laughter.
Liz liked to go out, he explained.
“This was part of the fun.”
She was, he noted, a good daughter to her parents, a good sister to her family and mother to her children.
“She had her troubles like all of us, but she was a decent person,” he emphasised.
Prayers of the faithful were offered up for Liz, for her friends and family and for all those who have lost loved ones.
A spokesperson for the family, on behalf of her son Keith, thanked all those who had offered their support at this difficult time.
“While it was hard to remember at times like this the happier times, it’s how she would have preferred to be remembered,” she explained.
“She was so precious to us, the family.
“One memory of her is that she loved to sing. She loved karaoke.”
She “idolised her children”. Her son Keith, the eldest, was her “pillar of strength” and she loved her three beautiful daughters.
Above all else, she was “so proud of them and loved them all so much”.
Meanwhile a senior Garda has said that an investigation into her death is still under way.
Last Thursday, they released her husband Raymond Duff, from custody without charge. A file will be sent to the DPP.
Mr. Duff had been arrested for questioning on Tuesday, August 21 in relation to the discovery of his wife’s body on Sunday morning, August 19 at their home in Lacken View.
He was initially held for 24 hours.
Gardai applied on Tuesday night to extend his period of detention for a further 24 hours.
Liz Duff was found dead at the bottom of the stairs in her home. Her body was wrapped in a blanket and it is thought she may have been there for some hours.
State Pathologist, Dr. Marie Cassidy conducted a full post-mortem examination the following day, Monday, and in a statement issued on Tuesday evening, Gardai said they would not disclose the findings of the report for operational reasons.
However the Leinster Leader understands that the report concluded that the deceased died as a result of injuries sustained while falling down the stairs and Gardai are keeping an open mind on whether her death was suspicious or not.
“The matter is still under investigation,” a Garda spokesman said. “There are matters about which I cannot comment for operational reasons.”