Betty ‘lived life to the absolute fullest’, mourners told

A mother of five found dead in a hotel room in Galway this week was a cancer survivor who embraced life and was passionate about her family, hillwalking, and set dancing, her funeral Mass was told yesterday.

The parish of Stuake, Co Cork, came to a standstill at 12.30pm for the requiem Mass for Betty Harrington.

An hour earlier, the community was a hive of activity as locals prepared lunch for mourners.

Daniel Harrington told the packed congregation at St Lachteen’s Church that his 64-year-old mother “lived life to the absolute fullest”.

“The hillwalking, the set dancing, the grandchildren... she had a better social life than myself,” he said.

“A special mention to the hillwalkers. She loved you all and the enjoyment she took out of it speaks volumes for all of you. Especially after her battle with cancer it gave her a lease on life.

“We are very thankful for all the happy memories growing up as children and growing into adulthood.

“She was a great wife and a great daughter. She was a great sister. She was a great aunty and a great grandmother. Everything she did she gave 100%.”

Mr Harrington said it had been a “true privilege to be her son” and that he, his father, and four sisters would miss her dearly.

Meanwhile, Fr Peadar Murphy, who celebrated the Mass alongside two other priests, said Ms Harrington was the type of person who greeted you with warmth and left you with the fondest of farewells.

She had a “wonderful sense of style” and lived life with vigour, he said. Her first love was family.

“Family was indeed very important to Betty and she was totally devoted to her husband Dan and to the entire family,” said Fr Murphy.

“She was very devoted to her grandchildren. She was supportive of and interested in their achievements, successes, and accomplishments. She was also a caring neighbour and a kind and trusted friend.”

Ms Harrington’s body was discovered at the Connemara Lake Hotel in Oughterard shortly before 12pm on Monday.

She was among a group of walkers who were staying in the area for a few days. She was an active member of a hillwalking club in Bishopstown and was out exploring the country most weekends.

Guests were evacuated amid concerns carbon monoxide may have caused the death. The HSA confirmed a full probe is under way.

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