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Nora Quoirin gifted others with love, mourners told

A teenager found dead in a Malaysian jungle after going missing on a family holiday was a gentle and innocent child who gifted others with immeasurable love, mourners at her funeral were told.

Family and friends of Nora Quoirin gathered in Belfast to say farewell in the Catholic church where she was baptised.

The body of the 15-year-old from London was cremated earlier on Tuesday morning.

Her ashes were later placed at the front of St Brigid’s church in south Belfast for Requiem Mass.

Nora was found dead after a 10-day search around the Malaysian jungle resort of Dusun last month.

The teenager, who was born with the brain defect holoprosencephaly and was described by her family as “vulnerable”, disappeared on 4th August.

Nora lived in London and was the daughter of French-Irish parents Sebastien and Meabh Quoirin.

Parish priest Fr Edward O’Donnell, who conducted the service alongside Nora’s great uncle Fr Pat Kelly, described her as “very special”.

He reflected on the girl’s baptism as he told mourners of the joy Nora had brought to her family in her short life.

The cleric described her as “gentle and innocent”.

“Nora was very special, she brought so much joy to Meabh and Sebastien, to her sister, Innes, and to Maurice her brother, and to those of the wider family circle,” he said.

“She, as we all know, depended greatly on others, but Nora in turn gifted others with immeasurable love and joy; before such an ability we can only feel gratitude.

“Today we return to St Brigid’s united in the unspeakable pain of Nora’s tragic death, united too in wordless sympathy for Nora’s family.

He added: “We who grieve for Nora hold her memory in love, believing that all the bonds of love and affection which bind us together throughout our lives do not unravel with death.

“Meabh and Sebastien, Innes and Maurice – remember Nora’s love for you, and know that she still loves you, and as you continue to love her, love one another.”

A poem Nora’s mother wrote about her when she was nine, called One, was read out by family friend Reverend Ruth Patterson.

Ms Patterson also relayed a tribute from Nora’s family to the mourners.

She described how the teenager loved school, particularly cooking classes and making recipes from her Gruffalo cookbook.

Ms Patterson said she liked eating out, especially when she was “gorging on a golfer’s fry with her granda at the golf club”.

She recalled the teenager’s sense of fun.

“Nora had a wicked sense of humour and loved to tell jokes from her joke book,” she said.

Ms Patterson recounted an occasion when Nora’s father told her she was using her Kindle reader too much.

She told mourners that Nora replied: “Don’t worry daddy, I’m reading The Washington Post.”

The minister added: “Nora had a crazy memory, she could tell you almost every capital city in the world, the number of steps up the Eiffel Tower and what she ate on her birthday seven years ago.”

She said her favourite time was when she was listening to bedtime stories.

“Most of all Nora loved cuddles with her mummy and getting her night-time story read every night, this was her special time,” she said.

When Nora disappeared from her hotel room her parents feared she had been abducted, insisting she would not have wandered off by herself.

However police in Malaysia said they have so far found no evidence of abduction or kidnapping.

A post-mortem examination revealed Nora died from internal bleeding probably caused by hunger and stress.

Picture: Nora Quoirin. The funeral mass of the 15 year old who died after disappearing from the Malaysian jungle resort of Dusun took place on Tuesday at St Brigid’s Church, Belfast. (Lucie Blackman Trust/Family handout/PA).

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OTHER NEWS

JOIN US FOR THE RE-DEDICATION EVENT -WATCH OUR LIVESTREAM BELOW AT NOON

THE REDEDICATION In 1381, England was dedicated to Mary by King Richard II and was 'set apart for her among the nations. This year, the Christians of England are called to make a personal dedication to Mary, taking up her example as Christ’s first disciple. History...

Prayers to say for the rededication of England as Mary’s Dowry

At noon today (Sunday, 29 March), England will be rededicated as the Dowry of Mary. While celebrations have been scaled back for obvious reasons, Catholics can still make join in at home by saying the prayers below. You can say the prayers at any time of day, although...

Online Mass and CAFOD are helping fill the holes left in our Sundays

With the coronavirus pandemic causing Masses across the country to be cancelled, there is now a large demand for virtual worship – and Catholic charity CAFOD hopes its weekly ‘Children’s Liturgy Live!’ will inspire families across the UK after the first session saw...

Catholic Churches in Europe opened to fight COVID-19

Catholic dioceses and religious orders across Europe are offering to turn church facilities into spaces needed for health care or housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Church leaders throughout Europe have been struggling to maintain Catholic religious devotions...

CAFOD takes its activities online as world stays home

With the onset of the coronavirus leaving many spending more time inside, organisations have swung into action moving their activities online, including UK charity CAFOD, which hopes its digital events and resources will unite international communities. The Covid-19...