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16th Dec 2017

Mother of Co. Clare teacher who died in France shares emotional tribute

"Our lives have changed irrevocably."

The mum of late Irish teacher, Eimear Noonan, has shared an emotional tribute to the “dear community spirit” that helped her during her daughter’s death.

The 21-year-old Co. Clare woman was out running in the French town of Annonay when she died suddenly on November 8.

Eimear’s mother, Mary, penned an emotional letter this week, which was then read out by Ryan Tubridy on RTE’s Radio One. 

It began:

“Dear community spirit,

“I wish to salute you on this beautifully snowy December morning from the shores of Lough Rainey in northeast Clare.

“I’ve been thinking of you a lot, especially in the long hours before dawn as I haven’t been sleeping too well recently.

“I want to pay tribute to you. You who are the lifeblood of communities – particularly rural communities – the throbbing, beating, loving, caring, compassionate heart of Ireland and yet, you are so under-rated, so undervalued.

“It’s only with the heart that one sees clearly.”

The letter continued:

“We are heartened and humbled by your actions and in awe of the potential and hope you bring for the future of communities such as ours and indeed for our country.

“So while we attempt to plough through the ocean of grief at our loss on this, our first Christmas without our darling daughter, we want to thank you sincerely from the bottom of our broken hearts.

“You bring so much hope for the future, you are what makes Ireland such a wonderfully special place.

“You give hope to the depressed, the forgotten, the homeless, because it is only with the spirit and resolve such as yours that we can overcome all obstacles and begin to live again.”

Mary concluded the letter by saying that she, her husband, and their sons will always be grateful for the “kindness and love” they encountered after Eimear’s death.

“It was when we returned to Ireland a week later that we were completely stunned by the unbelievable community spirit that saw us cope through the early days of this tragedy, and like so many others who have suffered the loss of a child, our lives have changed irrevocably.”