Your sacrifice will never be lost on us, says poem to Coast Guard hero Caitriona Lucas

Your sacrifice will never be lost on us, says poem to Coast Guard hero Caitriona Lucas
Caitriona Lucas's husband, Bernard (left), and daughter, Emma (second left), follow her coffin at her funeral today.

In a moving reflection at the end of the mass for Caitriona Lucas, her husband Bernard read a poem he had been given the night before as thousands first paid respects.

Mr Lucas urged people to mimic his wife's attitude and seize opportunities to live life to the full.

"Caitriona, the call was made and you set out, in wind and wave and rain," he said.

"Your quest, to search and search, to ease a family's pain.

"You never hesitated once. That bleeper sounded loud.

"Where others mattered more, Caitriona we're so proud.

"We're proud because we can all say we share this land and sea with you, our hero.

"We salute your immensity.

"We are very sad you have gone, we think we understand the parting. It's you we always loved.

"Your sacrifice will never be lost on us, your loyal crew.

"Anchors away, you beauty queen. You are in our hearts and souls.

"From your friends and lonesome crew, for now it's slan go foill."

At the opening of the funeral mass, gifts were brought forward to symbolise Ms Lucas's life, including a helmet marking her work in emergency rescues and the efforts she made to overcome her fear of heights.

Ms Lucas was described as a wonderful artist, painting many of her loves - cats and dogs, the Coast Guard helicopter and the Doolin unit's rescue boat.

She also made replicas of lifeboats out of "bits and pieces", a mark of her creativity, mourners heard.

Parish priest Father Denis Crosby said: "Not only did she go to sea, she creatively put it together because she held it in her heart."

A map of Oregon was also displayed to symbolise her travels.

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