The devastated family of Nosa Quoirin have gathered to say a final goodbye to the tragic schoolgirl almost a month after she was found dead during a holiday in Malaysia.
Friends and relatives, including Nora’s French-Irish parents Sebastien and Meabh Quoirin, came together in Belfast today to pay an emotional tribute to the teenager at St Brigid’s Church, where Nora was baptised as a child.
Nora went missing a day after she arrived in the jungle resort of Dusun with her family. She was discovered dead ten days later, with a post-mortem finding she died from internal bleeding likely caused by starvation and stress.
The body of the 15-year-old was cremated on Tuesday morning ahead of her funeral service in Northern Ireland, which was presided over by Father Edward O’Donnell and Nora’s great uncle Father Pat Agnew.
Addressing a packed church, Fr O’Donnell reflected on the girl’s baptism as he told mourners of the joy Nora had brought to her family in her short life, describing 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.
Friends and relatives, including Nora’s mother Meabh Quoirin (pictured), were seen arriving at St Brigid’s Church in Belfast
The devastated family of Nosa Quoirin have gathered to say a final goodbye to the tragic schoolgirl (shown left is the order of service) almost a month after she was found dead during a holiday in Malaysia
‘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.
‘I ask myself, as surely you must do: ‘What is the meaning of this terrible pain that has been inflicted on Nora’s family?’
‘We have, have we not, found ourselves wondering: if God is good and has for us the love that no human love can match, why then is there such suffering in our world?
‘We do not understand, and our stumbling words are so terribly inadequate.’
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.’
He concluded: ‘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.’
Nora went missing after she had travelled to the Dunsun resort – about 40 miles south of Kuala Lumpur – on August 3 with her parents, sister Innes, 12, and brother Maurice, eight.
Mourners arrive at today’s service in Northern Ireland , which was presided over by Father Edward O’Donnell and Nora’s great uncle Father Pat Agnew
Friends and relatives shared hugs following the funeral mass of Nora in Belfast today. Her family travelled from London, where they live, to hold the service at the same church where she was baptised
After going to sleep with her siblings in an upstairs bedroom, she was discovered missing by her French father shortly after 8am the next day.
Police were left with no clues apart from a large downstairs window that had been left ajar. Detectives believe she climbed through the window and then got lost.
Nora’s body was found ten days later in a sleeping position close to a stream at the foot of a ravine, 1.6 miles from an eco-resort where her family were staying.
The schoolgirl, who had a smaller than average brain and struggled to act independently, was born with Patau’s syndrome, which meant she struggled with everyday tasks and had limited speech and co-ordination.
State police chief Mohamad Mat Yusop said the results of the post-mortem examination reinforced his belief that Nora was not abducted, and instead died of starvation after getting lost.
The family’s lawyer, Charles Morel, said last week he believed ‘criminal involvement’ could not be ruled out and it was highly improbable Nora had voluntarily disappeared.
Nora’s grandfather Sylvain Quoirin has said there were still ‘dark areas that need to be cleared up for the family to be able to grieve in peace’.
Northern Irish politician Alistair McDonnell is pictured arriving for the funeral mass of Nora at St Brigid’s Church, Belfast today