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Two years after her death, final farewell to murder victim Joleen Corr

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The family of Joleen Corr at her graveside yesterday

The family of Joleen Corr at her graveside yesterday

Joleen Corr

Joleen Corr

Joleen's mum Carol sheds a tear

Joleen's mum Carol sheds a tear

The family of Joleen Corr at her graveside yesterday

It was another day filled with emotion for a Belfast family as they gathered to say a final farewell to murder victim Joleen Corr.

Tearful mum Carol Corr joined with other relatives at the graveside of the 27-year-old, who died two years ago after being brutally assaulted in her Co Down home in December 2016.

The family decided to hold the service after the final remains of Joleen, which had been retained by police investigating the murder, were returned to them earlier this week.

After the graveside ceremony Carol said she was certain that her daughter's journey was now complete and she had finally found peace.

The short service for the mum-of-one, whose family made the hearbreaking decision to switch off her life support in April 2018, brought to an end almost four years of anguish after they'd been left to care for Joleen following the attack in Downpatrick.

The authorities had retained her brain and some tissue material as evidence in their investigation.

"It was hard and emotional, but beautiful at the same time," said Carol.

"We kept her final remains with us overnight and family and friends gathered for a small wake at the house. It was lovely to have so many who loved her around her again.

"The priest came for a blessing before we gathered together at the cemetery for the final time.

"It had always been hard going to visit Joleen and knowing she was not all there. Now, though, she can rest in paradise.

"I was delighted to have everyone together one last time and we now know she is whole and at peace. Her journey is complete, and as a family we can also move on and try to find our own peace.

"We all know in our hearts we did everything we could to make her proud.

"To have everyone there who loved her was a beautiful feeling for me, and a beautiful way for Joleen to complete her journey."

Throughout that journey Carol has maintained a rainbow theme, and it was the same again yesterday.

"We wanted to dress in bright colours for her.

"I still cherish the moments when I sang Somewhere Over The Rainbow to her in her final moments," she said.

"Rainbows have followed my family all the way through this, at all the big moments.

"We had a lovely lunch to remember her, a cake with the words 'Rest in paradise' on it. She will always be part of this family and we will never forget her."

The beauty therapist suffered horrendous brain injuries and was left in a coma after her former partner Michael O'Connor assaulted her in December 2016.

After six weeks in intensive care doctors told her family there was no hope of recovery.

Joleen was cared for by her family until her death.

O'Connor (34) admitted the murder, and following sentencing at the start of this month, will spend at least 16 years in jail.

Belfast Telegraph