Blind woman dies after falling in front of train
THE family of a visually impaired woman killed by a high-speed train believe she tripped and fell on the tracks due to her disability.
Patricia Brennan (57) survived the incident in Dublin but was rushed to nearby Beaumont Hospital where she later died.
The tragedy unfolded at around 1.50pm when the woman was waiting for a DART on the northbound platform at Raheny station.
Ms Brennan, who lived nearby, was hit by a mainline train travelling from Pearse Street station to Drogheda, which does not stop at Raheny.
Spanish students on the opposite platform tried to warn the driver but it was travelling too fast to stop in time and the first carriage ran over the woman.
"I don't know where she was going at the time.
"They said she was going to either Howth or Malahide," her sister Marie Fogarty told the Irish Independent.
"She was doing a class in computers so she could have been on her way to that.
"She was very extrovert type of person - full of chat and go. Because she was visually impaired she loved to listen to audio tapes of her favourite books.
"Patricia really enjoyed meeting people for meals and coffees. She loved the theatre and going to the latest plays.
"She had some sight but she used a cane which helped her as she went about her life. She didn't have a guide dog."
She added: "She was just getting on the DART when it happened. She tripped down on to the tracks.
"Patricia had worked as a telephonist in the Bank of Ireland headquarters on Baggot Street, and had used that station numerous times. It's incredibly sad.
"But she had finished work in the bank and had taken early retirement.
"Everybody knew her and she was very outgoing. She loved socialising and loved people."
Ms Brennan, who was single and had no children, was originally from Co Clare but had moved to Dublin a number of years ago.
She had lived alone in a two-storey semi-detatched house in the Ashcroft estate in Raheny for "most of her life".
A religious woman, she had once met Pope John Paul II on a trip to Rome.
"She went to school in St Mary's School for the visually impaired in Merrion, and had lived in her home all her life," Marie added.
"Her sight had deteriorated in the last two years but she didn't let it hold her back. She was very determined to live a full life and never felt sorry for herself."
Irish Rail said the incident was a "tragic accident" and passed on its sympathies to the family of Ms Brennan.