Mourners weep for daughter Abi as murdered Jennifer Dornan laid to rest
The sight of the beautiful young daughter of a woman savagely killed in her own home brought tears to the eyes of mourners at her funeral.
Little Abi Dornan, still too young to understand that she will never see her beloved mum again, clung to a family friend as she left the church and held a white lily from the flower arrangement adorning the coffin.
Her older brothers Martin (8) and Jayden (6) wept as hundreds of friends turned out to Christ the Redeemer Church in Lagmore to bid a final farewell to Jennifer Dornan.
Ms Dornan was murdered in the early hours of Sunday morning in her own home. Her killer set a fire to try and hide the tracks.
Her brutal murder has shocked the community, and even more the fact that her three young children have been robbed of their mother and all their possessions.
A community fundraising effort has already gathered £16,000 for the children. Parish priest Father Martin Graham described the murder as "wicked and obscene".
He summed up Ms Dornan as a "vibrant human being with a love of life and a joy and energy that attracted many friends".
"She enjoyed life so much and she was the life and soul of any party," he said.
"She gave everyone plenty to laugh and smile about and she never had to try hard.
"Her nature, her personality was one that even with her own troubles and worries she could still smile and help others to do the same. This world is the poorer now that Jennifer has left it."
Fr Graham said no human words can bring the family peace as they say their goodbyes to Ms Dornan. "We must pray for this peace to flood our hearts and remove the shock of Jennifer's death, to help us cope with the bewilderment, the anger and the pain at another person's cruelty," he said.
"Whoever did this to Jennifer has turned her death, which was cold-hearted and callous already, into something that was wicked and obscene. A family home has been destroyed as her family's hearts have been torn apart.
"Someone said to me a while ago that when our heart is shattered we feel it can never be put back together again but with even the smallest gesture of love and friendship a little piece of it is restored."
The family's parish priest added: "Please God for Jennifer's family they will, in the days and weeks to come, be able to take comfort from the very great acts of kindness and love shown them by friends and neighbours over the last few days and with these thoughts of love be able to start piecing back their broken hearts. That is not to say it will be completely healed; a jug or a plate may be repaired but even the tiniest crack will still be seen, a broken heart will always bear the scar of loss."
Earlier, the funeral procession left from Ms Dornan's mother's home in Ligoniel. Around 60 people gathered to extend their condolences and follow the hearse as many neighbours watched in silence as the procession passed on its way to Lagmore.