The priest who celebrated the Requiem Mass of Co Louth woman Denise Morgan said he hoped her violent death would help people “expose inappropriate behavior and the cultural attitudes that underlie our scourge of domestic violence”.
Morgan (39), mother-of-one from Tullyallen, Drogheda, died of a gunshot wound at her home in Queens, New York, on October 21 last year. Her boyfriend, Joed Taveras, 33, was also found dead on the property with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Her death is being treated as a murder by police in the United States.
Father Seán Dooley told mourners at the Church of the Assumption in Tullyallen that those who loved Ms Morgan had shared stories about the life of a much-loved daughter, sister and friend.
“We are wondering how this could have happened to such a beautiful young woman,” he said. “Hopefully her tragic death will help us as a community develop an understanding of domestic violence.
“It is somewhat ironic that our own new law on various criminal justice provisions to support domestic violence came into force on Thursday.”
Father Dooley said Ms Morgan had been “stolen” from her family and friends in a sudden and “brutal manner”. He said her life revolved around her daughter Mollie.
“Denise was born to mother, I was told. From the moment she realized Mollie was on the move until her very last day, Mollie was the center of her life. Even her last post [on social media] was from Mollie and herself. “Everything was for Mollie,” he added.
Ms. Morgan worked at The Cottage Bar and Restaurant in Forest Hills, New York. Father Dooley said standing in front of the house was her “strength.”
“Her sociable interest in people and desire to serve led her into the hospitality and service industries,” he said. “At some point in her life she helped manage Daly’s [in Drogheda]. She even helped provide food to the homeless on Christmas Day.
“Denise will be remembered as a kind, lively and polite person who always had time to greet another person. Her many Facebook page posts tell of a woman who is brimming with love that attracts others.”
A relative of Ms Morgan, Mandy, spoke on behalf of the family. She thanked everyone who helped bring Denise home from the United States, including the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust and the community in Tullyallen and New York.
She said Ms Morgan touched many lives in her life and Mollie was Denise’s reason “to smile every day and her smile was contagious”.
“We will miss all the silly memes and pointless phone calls that went on for hours. We have lost a part of us that will never return,” she added.
“There is a feeling of peace when you know you are home, but there will never be peace when you know how it got here. We will never forget you, Denise, and we promise to cherish and care for Mollie Wee.”
Funeral offerings included a picture drawn by Mollie, family photos, a top that Ms. Morgan “tried to steal from her sister,” a vape “that she always had with her,” a workout DVD, a red lipstick and a pair of boots and a picture of Mollie with her dog.
Mrs. Morgan was escorted from the church by Bryan Adams to the sounds of heaven for burial in the adjacent cemetery. She is survived by her parents Deirdre and Noel, daughter Mollie and Mollie’s father Larry, sisters Lisa and Shannon, brother John, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, extended family and friends.
The Morgan family asked that donations be made to the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust in lieu of flowers. Earlier, around 250 people gathered at St Teresa’s Church in Woodside, New York, for a memorial service for Ms Morgan.