Family mourn teacher killed on ski holiday
Published 19/02/2014 | 02:30
THE heartbroken family of an Irishman who was killed in an accident in Austria have told how he loved to travel.
Paul Kilgarriff (35), from Ballygar in Co Galway, was hit by a train while on a skiing holiday in Austria.
Mr Kilgarriff was enjoying a break at the popular ski resort of Zell am See in Salzburg.
He was walking home to his rented holiday apartment near the Schmittenhohe ski lift when he wandered onto the train tracks and was killed instantly.
The train driver needed psychological treatment.
Mr Kilgarriff, who taught at the Esker Educate Together national school in Adamstown, Dublin, had only begun his brief holiday when the tragic incident occurred.
"He was coming back from a nightclub and all we know is he was hit by a fast train from behind. It's very tough to take, we're absolutely devastated," said his father Sean.
Mr Kilgarriff's parents, Sean and Marguerite, and sister Sinead are now being comforted by friends and family at home while his three brothers are travelling home from Canada and Australia.
"James is in Vancouver and Niall and David are in Brisbane, they are all making their way home now," said Sean Kilgarriff.
He recalled his son's love of travel, adding that his death abroad was a cruel blow for a young man who travelled extensively.
Mr Kilgarriff added: "He used to teach English as a foreign language and lived in Portugal and Italy for years.
"He was a seasoned traveller and went all over the world. For someone like that to go like he did is unbelievable."
The family hope to have their son's remains returned to Ireland by the end of the week.