The funeral of Lynne Freeman (57) who drowned off Greystones Co Wicklow last Saturday, was told how a pupil at Ravenswell primary school in Bray, hearing of her death, said: "Ms Freeman was the reason I could read a book. I loved her because she taught me how to read. You know, because of her, I got 9 out of 9."
Kate Breen, principal of the school where Ms Freeman had taught for the past five years, continued: "the children adored her and her way of teaching, and they flourished under her guidance and support."
Her funeral service took place this monring at Christ Church, Delgany, Co Wicklow. At 12.30 last Saturday gardaí and emergency services were called to the North Beach in Greystones after receiving reports of three swimmers in difficulty. Assistance was also provided by members of Greystones Sailing Club.
Sea conditions were rough at the time and the three women, all in their 50s, were taken from the water. Ms Freeman, a mother of two, was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Lynne has been a trustworthy and valued friend to all of us in Ravenswell over the years and will leave a huge gap in our school community,” Ms Breen said. “We will miss her smile and her distinctive laugh. Lynne you are a wonderful person We’ll miss you sorely,” she said.
The deceased woman's only brother Andrew recalled how she had been born at East Kilbride in Scotland, "the only daughter of Eric and Margaret Freeman. " She was, he said, "a belonging person. Lynne really valued belonging, and settling into life in Ireland over the last 22 years has been very special to her."
She “loved Ireland and its way of life very dearly.” It went without saying “that her sense of belonging to the family unit of Julian, Sophie, and James was just such a massive blessing to her.” His sister “cared greatly for people.” Despite “the tragedy and loss we, are deeply grateful to God for Lynne’s life, for all that she achieved and m ost of all for who she was.”
Earlier, Rector Rev Nigel Waugh told the attendance that Ms Freeman's family was "very conscious of the trauma that those who were with her on that morning experienced and their prayers are with them."
The family was "also grateful to the local coastguard, to the helicopter coastguard, to the local sailing club who came to Lynne's aid, to the paddle-boarder Stephen Ryan who came to their rescue. And they particularly want to mention the comfort in Jonathan McCormick being part of the coastguard response and being with Lynne and with Nora at that very difficult time."
Chief mourners were Ms Freeman’s family, Julian, Sophie and James, her father Eric, brother Andrew, and extended family including the Freeman and McCormick families. Her mother died earlier this year.
Burial afterwards was at Redford (the Grove) cemetery, near Greystones.