"You did some good, you made a difference during your time on earth," Fr Timmy Lennon OFM, said of his sister-in-law, Dr Kathleen McGarry Lennon, at her funeral Mass in St Mary's Church, Navan, on Tuesday.
He said that while he was waiting outside the church on Monday evening for her cortege to arrive, he overheard two ladies talking.
He continued: 'Now that she's gone, things will never be the same again,' one said."
Fr Lennon said that Kathleen wanted to have her funeral Mass in Navan, as it was where she spent her working life.
The Taoiseach, Dr Varadkar, was represented by his Aide de Camp, Cmdt Caroline Burke, at the funeral Mass, celebrated by Fr Lennon, assisted by Fr Kevin Heery, CC, Navan, and Fr John O'Leary, of Collon, where Dr McGarry lived with her family. Fr Robert McCabe, CC, Navan was chaplain to Cmdt Burke.
At the beginning of Mass, family members brought forward symbols of Dr McGarry's life: A Kindle representing her love of reading which she enjoyed her whole life until her final days, also reading the newspaper in bed with her grandson, Finn; a garden secateurs, showing her love of cultivating a garden with care and tenderness; a painting she had done in hospital after rediscovering her talent, encouraged by her sister, Pat; her stethoscope, demonstrating her care for her patients, many of which had been sympathising with the family in recent days; and a painting of her family, as she was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother.
Fr Lennon said that his sister-in-law had told him she and her husband, Finbar, were writing a book about the Mater, Collon, and St Vincent's, and he looked forward to seeing her letters and 'magnificent paintings' in it.
Fr Kevin Heery said that Kate McGarry was one of the great names associated with Navan hospital, and was very much part of the care team and development there.
"Her work involved everything to do with the Irish heart," he said. "She now goes to a different heart – the sacred heart of our Lord Jesus, where she will rest in peace."
Huge crowds attended the removal last evening and the funeral Mass this morning in St Mary's Church, Navan, queuing to pay their tributes to the family. Burial followed in Kilternan Park Cemetery.