Community pay tribute to sporting hero

A WARM and vivacious woman who inspired her community, her county and her country when she won three medals at the Special Olympics in Shanghai was laid to rest last Sunday.

A WARM and vivacious woman who inspired her community, her county and her country when she won three medals at the Special Olympics in Shanghai was laid to rest last Sunday.

Hundreds of people turned out to pay tribute to Jane Saunders from Grove Terrace in Ballyragget who passed away this last week. The good-natured and fun loving athlete won the medals for swimming and brought great pride and honour to her home town.

Neighbour Richie Stone remembered ‘a wonderful woman’. “She enjoyed life immensely and was full of love. She was an angel, an absoulute dote. She loved sport and was a great supporter of the local hurling team. People loved and respected her for her huge determination and committment,” he said.

At her funeral a moving tribute was paid to the 40-year-old sportswoman by Sr Mary Freeman, a sister of Bishop Seamus Freeman. The funeral Mass was celebrated by Fr Liam Shore and Fr Percy Grant.

Jane will be deeply missed by her family, her parents Pat and Bridie, her brother John, and nephew Luke, friends and neighbours and her friends at the brewery and SOS Kilkenny and her comrades at Special Olympics.