61-year-old woman that jumped out of burning home finally rehoused
Cork mother sleeping on daughter's couch since fire which killed her son and family friend
Published 11/08/2016 | 20:36
A 61-year-old woman who had to jump from the first floor of her home as it burnt down has been given a new house.
Noreen McAuliffe was the sole survivor of a house fire in Macroom Co. Cork on May 1, which claimed the lives of her youngest child Kenneth (26) and family friend Noel O’Mahony (64).
The 61-year-old escaped the blaze by jumping from a first floor window in the house she had lived in for over 40 years.
The landing left Noreen in a coma for a week and when she finally came through she had a broken collarbone and broken ribs, but this was nothing in comparison to the emotional turmoil she was going through.
“I was in a coma for a week and when I came out of it, it was all over. My son was dead and I had missed his funeral. I haven’t been to the grave yet because I’m just not able. It’s just too hard. He was my baby and it broke my heart,” she told Independent.ie.
When Noreen finally left the hospital, she didn’t have a home to go to.
She ended up sleeping on her daughter's couch for over six weeks and told the Corkman this situation affected her grieving process.
She said: “I haven't really been able to grieve until now as I felt I couldn't cry in front of my daughter Sinéad's children, who I had been living with since the tragedy. I haven't been to Kenny's grave yet, but as someone said to me 'he's not there, he's right with you all the time.”
"My daughter has been the best in the world to me, but it’s hard not having your own home,” Noreen added while talking to Independent.ie.
She now has a new home and Noreen is delighted with the new abode.
“It’s absolutely five-star, it’s beautiful. I got the keys last Friday, moved in Monday and it’s great to have a home again. I’m still very sore and it’s very, very hard, but the new place is lovely,” she said.
Noreen told the Corkman that she is hoping the old home where she lived for 41 years of her life, will stay in the family.
"It's still being repaired, but my daughter Sinéad has actually applied for it and it would be wonderful to keep it in the family. To be honest I wouldn't like to see strangers moving in there as it was our home for 41 years," she said.