Funeral for Jody Keenan who died on wait for ambulance takes place in Newry

Funeral held for Jody Keenan. Presseye
The 39-year-old was laid to rest in Cloghogue cemetery. Credit: Press Eye

The funeral of Jody Keenan, who died while waiting for an ambulance, has taken place in Newry.

The 39-year-old was laid to rest in Cloghogue cemetery after Requiem Mass in The Church of the Assumption, Drumalane.

She had been out socialising with friends when she collapsed in the Trevor Hill area in the early hours of Sunday.

Her mother was one of those to rush to the scene and performed CPR on her daughter.

It took just over 45 minutes for an ambulance to reach her after staffing issues left the southern area deplete of crews. The ambulance service apologised and is reviewing the case.

Friends from St Paul's School in Bessbrook, where she worked as a classroom assistant, performed a guard of honour as the coffin was carried into the church.

At the service, Fr Liam McKinney told mourners it was easy to feel "cheated" over her sudden passing.

"You, who knew Jody best, will need no reminder of how wonderful she was, what she achieved and how clearly she allowed her light to shine," he said.

"She had a genuine interest in others and in their lives wherever she went.

"Nothing give Jody greater pleasure than being in the company of others.

"Jody will be deeply missed by all who knew her, especially by her family.

"There could easily be a tendency to feel that we have somehow been cheated, that Jody herself has been robbed by dying so young."

The teaching assistant collapsed in the Trevor Hill area of the city on Sunday after a night out with friends and could not be resuscitated.

Her friends called 999 and were told that there would be a delay in getting an ambulance to the scene.

UTV spoke to Jody's cousin Aoife Finnegan who said the family were 'shocked and devastated' by the loss, particularly in such circumstances.

Credit: Press Eye

She added that they've been left struggling to come to terms with something they can hardly believe has happened, and that Jody is being remembered by all who knew her as "just the loveliest person, one of the best".

In a tribute, St Paul's High School where Jody, from the Newry area, was a teaching assistant, described her as 'an esteemed colleague'.

A Serious Incident Review is to investigate the circumstances surrounding her death.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service apologised to Jody's family and friends for the response and announced the major review on Monday afternoon.