Catherine Gowing: Sister's tribute at murdered vet's funeral

Photo of Catherine Gowing and candle inside funeral church Mourners who packed the Irish church heard Catherine Gowing described as a "gift from God"

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The sister of an Irish vet who was murdered in Wales has paid an emotional tribute to the 37-year-old during her funeral in her native County Offaly.

Catherine Gowing, who had been living in New Brighton, near Mold, vanished in October. Parts of her body were later found at two separate sites in Wales.

More than 300 people attended her funeral mass in Kinnitty on Thursday.

Her sister, Emma, told mourners she was "the closest person to perfection that I had the privilege to know and love".

She said Ms Gowing had been a "wonderful daughter" to their parents, and described her as "a gift from God".

"She was beautiful in beauty's truest form, a soul filled with goodness," she added.

The congregation that packed St Flannan's Church included Ms Gowing's devastated parents, her friends, her colleagues from the veterinary practice in Mold where she worked and officers from North Wales Police.

In her eulogy, Emma Gowing said her sister "loved animals and being able to practice as a vet was for her a dream come through".

The parish priest, Michael O'Meara, said the community in County Offaly were struggling to come to terms with the circumstances of Ms Gowing's death.

"I know there's no words of mine that can really be of any comfort on this day for you," he told her family and friends.

Catherine Gowing's funeral in County Offaly Hundreds of people attended Catherine Gowing's funeral in County Offaly

Fr O'Meara said a candle had been lit it in the church within days of Ms Gowing disappearance, in the hope she would return.

The vet was last seen on 12 October at a supermarket near her home in New Brighton, Flintshire.

Part of her remains were later found in a shallow pool in a field in Sealand, north Wales, and near the River Dee in Higher Ferry, Chester.

North Wales Police have confirmed that a search for Ms Gowing's remains is ongoing.

A 46-year-old man from north Wales has been charged with her murder.

Clive Sharp, from Gwynedd, is due in court again next month.

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