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Thursday 25 May 2017

Devastating apartment blaze which killed four is second fire tragedy to hit family

AnneMarie's brother Andrew O'Brien died in tragic blaze on grounds of Bray church

Victims of Clondalkin fire. (From left clockwise) Holly (3), AnneMarie (27), Biddy (aged in her 30s), Jordan (4) and Paris (2) O'Brien
Victims of Clondalkin fire. (From left clockwise) Holly (3), AnneMarie (27), Biddy (aged in her 30s), Jordan (4) and Paris (2) O'Brien

Conor Feehan and Ian Begley

A devastating apartment fire which stole the lives of a pregnant woman and three children is the second tragedy to hit the family.

AnneMarie O'Brien (27) who was seven months pregnant, her daughter Paris (2) and three-year-old Holly O'Brien were killed after the fire broke out at an accommodation in Kilcronan Avenue, Clondalkin around 2.30am last night.

Jordan O'Brien (4) died later this afternoon as a result of his injuries.

Jordan and Holly's mother Biddy O'Brien, who was visiting the apartment, remains in a critical condition.

A cousin of the family spoke to Independent.ie and said told of how this is the second fire tragedy to hit Annemarie’s family.

“A brother of hers named Andy died in a container fire in Bray some years ago,” Joanne said.

“When Andy died a few years ago it was so hard on all of us and I can’t even describe how bad [last night’s] tragedy has made us feel.”

News reports from January 2011 show that Andrew O'Brien, who was 20 at the time, died in the tragic blaze on the grounds of Bray's Christ Church.

His remains were found in a prefab to the rear of the church on the morning of Tuesday, January 25. Firemen were called to attend to the burning outhouse at around 4 a.m. By 5 a.m. that morning they had discovered his body.

It was impossible initially to tell whether the victim of the blaze was male or female. DNA analysis later confirmed that the deceased was Andrew.

At the time of his death, Annemarie wrote a message of tribute to him on Facebook.

‘Love you Andy,' she wrote. 'Sleep tight bro. Thinking of you always. Miss u more than anyone could imagine. RIP,’ she had added.

Originally from the Fassaroe area, Andy O'Brien had been sleeping away from home for a number of nights, at a number of locations, including the place where he ultimately lost his life.

The shed on the church grounds was often used as a shelter for people with nowhere else to go.

Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone said her thoughts and prayers were with all those affected by the Clondalkin fire.

Local councillor Trevor Gilligan (FF) said: “It is an awful case. I’m a councillor here in Clondalkin nearly 15 years and it’s a terrible tragedy."

Sinn Féin TD Eoin O Broin said in a statement: “My thoughts are with the bereaved families, friends, and members of this tight-knit local community this morning. The death of two young children and a young woman is a tragedy and the people here in Kilcronan are numb with shock and sadness at this devastating loss of life.

"My thoughts are also with those seriously injured in the fire who are being cared for in hospital.

“I would like to commend Dublin Fire Brigade and the emergency services who attended the scene in the early hours. The community here in Kilcronan is resilient and will come together to comfort those who have lost loved ones in this fire.”

Kilkenny Fire Brigade wrote: “Our thoughts are with the family & friends of those who died this morning in Clondalkin fire. Also for the first responders present.”

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