Natalia's sister says she was a dedicated mother whose children were always her priority

The sister of Sligo mother Natalia Karaczyn has spoken of the devastation facing her family in the days after her death.

The 30-year-old, who was originally from Poland, was found dead on the on the outskirts of Sligo town on Tuesday.

Her husband, 32-year-old Rafal Karaczyn, appeared in court this morning charged with her murder.

Natalia’s family have been caring for her children since she went missing in the early hours of Sunday morning. 

Her sister Magdalena McMorrow said Natalia loved her three boys, aged two, five and nine, more than anything - adding that they were “always her number one priority.”

“You can’t really describe how difficult it is,” said Magdalena.

“It comes in waves; sometimes we feel OK and think that we will get through and it comes back again then.”

She said nine-year-old Oskar is the only one of the three children who can really understand what has happened.

“We told him yesterday that mummy is not coming back and he took it quite badly,” she said. “He was very, very upset.”

“We explained that our family is big and we are going to do everything we can.

“We are going to support them and we love them very much.

“We told him how when he goes to Poland he will go fishing with my brother and we told him everything that is ahead of him.

"He is very excited looking forward to going to Poland.”

She said the other boys are too young to really understand.

Magdalena said the loss hit her the hardest when she went with Gardaí to identify Natalia’s body.

“That night was the first night that I actually was able to fall asleep,” she said.

“Because I knew I have her now and she is not there lost somewhere.

“I know now that she is dead - which is the worst-possible case scenario - but at the same time I know what happened and it was very important to get that closure.”

Friends of the family have set up a special GoFundMe page in order to support the three boys.

“I don’t know if I would be able to get through it without my friends,” she said.

“I didn’t even know it was going ahead; I just heard [about it] from people.

“I just can’t believe how generous people are and how good they are because these boys, I know that we never going to be able to bring their mummy back and nothing is going to replace her.

"But at least knowing that they have financial support and that they will be looked after – that is just a massive thing and a massive weight off my shoulders and my family’s shoulders.”

Natalia's funeral will take place in Sligo tomorrow.

“I think after that maybe things will calm down a little bit,” said Magdalena.

“At the minute, I don’t have time to even think about it and I think maybe when things settle next week it is just going to hit me harder.

“We will see. I know the pain will never go away but hopefully, I will learn to live with it.”

You can listen back to Magdalena’s conversation with Today FM's Paul Quinn here: