Belfast Telegraph

Not too late to find Lisa Dorrian, mourners at funeral for mum Pat told

By Rebecca Black

It's not too late to help us find Lisa, was the message from the murdered hairdresser's cousin, the Rev Adrian Dorrian, at her mother's funeral service.

Pat Dorrian (59) died last week never having found her eldest daughter, who disappeared 10 years ago.

Losing Lisa took "an unbearable toll on Pat" according to her cleric nephew.

Mrs Dorrian bravely led a high-profile campaign over the last decade to find her eldest daughter, who disappeared from a caravan site in Ballyhalbert on February 28, 2005.

Despite land and sea searches, her body has never been found.

Mrs Dorrian made multiple public appeals for information and fervently wished for the chance to give Lisa a Christian burial.

With Lisa's killers maintaining their silence, she was denied this hope. North Down MP Lady Hermon said her friend died of a broken heart. Lady Hermon was among the hundred-plus mourners who filled St Comgall's Church in Bangor yesterday morning amid torrential rain.

Pat's husband John, daughters Joanne, Michelle, Ciara and wider family circle were tearful as they said they final farewells.

Mr Dorrian, a Church of Ireland minister based at St Mark's in east Belfast, took part in the service, which was conducted by Father Joseph Gunn, and delivered the eulogy.

He reissued the family appeal for information that could help find Lisa's body.

"Today's a strange day for many reasons, but it would be impossible to talk about Pat's life at all without talking about Lisa, her eldest daughter, who so tragically disappeared nearly 11 years ago," he said. "As someone as devoted to family as she was, such a loss took an unbearable toll on Pat. While the day-to-day of life went on, the reality of having had her daughter taken away so brutally would weigh on her and all the family. The pain of a heartbroken mother would be hers from that day forward. That's not to say there were not moments of celebration in family events, but the injustice of Lisa's disappearence cast a shadow over the rest of her mother's life.

"Recent media coverage has spoken about the wish that Pat shared with the family to one day give Lisa a Christian burial. That may not be a wish that Pat saw fulfilled but it is one that can still be fulfilled for her family. May those in possession of knowledge that will allow this be convicted by a sense of justice and fairness that even now they might decide to do the right thing. Pat spoke to me about faith a number of times after Lisa's disappearence. About six years ago we prepared a service of Lisa's memory which took place in Ballyholme."

Rev Dorrian described his aunt as someone "dedicated to the service of others".

"The picture I want to paint today of Pat is someone who was very dedicated to the service of others, not only in her professional life but most especially in her family life," he told the congregation. "A big part of that professional life was the care of others, and I know it was something at which she excelled, which I know because so many she cared for became very fond of her as she cared for them.

"As her nephew I recall the fact that Pat often remembered the little things, she knew our interests and the gifts at Christmas and on birthdays reflected that in a way they didn't have to.

"The moments I best remember of Pat were moments when our entire family was gathered together. I remember New Year's Eve parties being a thing. Pat's ability to give to others manifested in a very simple but a very important way, the gift of hospitality. Good food, good company, good atmosphere and good craic. Although they were family events, they weren't just family, neighbours and friends, others were part of those gatherings as well. She was a welcomer. She was someone who brought others in."

On behalf of Pat's husband John, her daughters and sisters, he thanked supporters for their messages of sympathy.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph