Funeral for Cookstown murder victim Una Noone hears of the ‘numbness and disbelief at the horror of it all’

A priest at the funeral for Mrs Una Noone, found murdered in her Cookstown home last Sunday, said there is a ‘great sense of numbness and disbelief at the horror of it all’.

PACEMAKER BELFAST  21/06/2022
A man has appeared in court charged with murdering his mother in Cookstown, County Tyrone.
Margaret Una Noone, 77, was found dead in her home in Ratheen Avenue on Sunday.
Her 45-year-old son, Barry Noone, who shares the address with his mother after moving from England earlier this year to care for her, was arrested at the scene.
He appeared via video-link at Omagh Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.
A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) detective constable said she could connect the accused to the charge of common law murder.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 21/06/2022 A man has appeared in court charged with murdering his mother in Cookstown, County Tyrone. Margaret Una Noone, 77, was found dead in her home in Ratheen Avenue on Sunday. Her 45-year-old son, Barry Noone, who shares the address with his mother after moving from England earlier this year to care for her, was arrested at the scene. He appeared via video-link at Omagh Magistrates' Court on Tuesday. A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) detective constable said she could connect the accused to the charge of common law murder.

Mrs Noone (77) was found dead at her home in Ratheen Avenue by police acting on a call from a concerned friend.

Her son Barry Noone has been charged with her murder.

Priest says community ‘stunned and shocked’

The priest at Mrs Noone’s funeral said: “The events of last Sunday have stunned us all and none more so than the Noone and McOscar families. We are shocked as individuals and we are visibly shaken as a community when we learn about the unexpected death of someone we have known so well.

“There is a great sense of numbness and disbelief at the horror of it all for so many gathered here today, we are struggling to come to terms with it, to make sense of it all. But try as we might, words simply fail us.

“We are left with so many questions. So many whys and what ifs, especially those of us here facing death like this for the first time. There is no instant antidote for the deep pain and sorrow, no easy answers to the many questions that are left. There is no formula that I or anyone else can rhyme off to make things better, but as Christians we know there is an answer. No matter how difficult and painful this tragedy is, there is an answer and the answer is the person of Jesus Christ.

“For the Noone and McOscar families, you are living through the maelstrom which you have been thrown into whereby your world has been torn upside down.

The life of Una Noone

The priest added: “It would be so wrong and tragic if we allowed the events of last week to define who Una was.

“For those of us who knew her, she was much more than that. She was a quiet unassuming lady who worked hard all her life.

“Born in Ballinderry, Una was one of nine children of Hugh and Agnes McOscar. Early life was a simple affair, growing up on the Lough Shore. She took part in the activities of the community with her siblings and her friends.

“Educated in Ballylifford Primary School, thereafter she soon gained employment in Fishers factory in Cookstown but the allure of the bright lights of the city were too tempting for her and off she went to Birmingham to experience a new way of life. The midlands city soon became her adopted home and before long other members of her family were making the short journey across the pond. It was here that Una was blessed with two children a girl and a boy who meant the world to her.

“But before long the pace of a busy built up city was no longer appealing to Una and she yearned to be back home again where everything seemed that bit slower and relaxed. So off she went with her two Brummy babies back to the old sod where Una was fortunate enough to acquire a newly built house in Ratheen which has become her home for over 44 years.

Una took a job as a cleaner and it was a job she enjoyed

“To support her children and to assist through their college life, Una started a house cleaning job which she was so good at. If she did as good a job in other people’s house like she did in her own, her clients would be delighted because she was so house proud. Everything was gleaming and had its place and you would just know she loved her wee house at number 39.

“By way of relaxation Una was very sociable and loved going to the bingo in the town. She loved listening to music and in particular country music with the Castleblayney crooner being her favourite. She had all Big Tom’s albums and she would often play and sing along with him in the comfort of her own home.

Her charity work was always to the fore

“Una was also generous with her time and got involved with several charities in the area. She became a volunteer with St Vincent de Paul and the Gingerbread group often out fundraising for those worthy charities.

“Family meant everything to Una and she loved and cared for her two children Tracey and Barry, providing for them the best way she could, always being there as their confidante and their go-to person for advice. She loved her wee trips over to London to see them both and when Tiarnan, her grandson, came along, she did what all grandparents do and that was to spoil him.

“Over these past few months I began to know Una a little bit better with my First Friday Sick Calls. She wasn’t always in the best of health but she was always grateful to receive the body of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

“And after receiving Holy Communion, she would say it is the greatest gift that she had received. And was so apologetic about not being able to attend her Sunday Mass but assured me that once her health had improved she would once again venture out.

“None of us here are in a position to judge, nor cast the first stone but instead leave that to our Heavenly Father who is always the final arbitrator and God is so much more merciful than the world can ever be. Instead what we can do is pray for all those affected by this tragedy.

Gifts were brought to the Altar to represent Una’s life including a tin of Pledge, representing her work as a cleaner, her bingo book and favourite pen and her cigarettes and an ashtray as well as an album from Big Tom.

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